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Beata  Ungheria !  so  non  so  lascia 
Piu  malmenare. 














The  Zriny.  —  The  Country  below  Pest.  —  Waste  Lands.  — 
An  Accident.  —  Mohacs.  —  Peterwardein.  —  Karlowitz.  —  The 
Drave.  —  Semlin.  —  The  Crusaders.  —  The  Save.  —  Belgrade.  — 
Danube  Navigation. —  The  Border  Guard:  their  Laws  and  Or- 
ganization. —  The  Theiss  and  Temes.  —  Semendria.  —  George 
Dosa. — Danube  Scenery. — Servia,  and  Russian  Policy.  Page  1 



Babakay.  —  The  Vultures. — Golumbatz.  —  St.  George's  Cavern^ 
— The  Rapids. — First  Roman  Inscription. — Kazan. — New  Road. 
— Sterbeczu  Almare. — Trajan's  Tablet. — Via  Trajana. — Orsova. 
-  New  Orsova.  —  The  Crusaders.  —  Visit  to  the  Pasha.  —  The 
Quarantine. — The  Iron  Gates. — Trajan's  Bridge — its  History  and 
Construction.  —  Valley  of  the  Cserna.  —  Turkish  Aqueduct.  — 
Mehadia — its  Baths  and  Bathers.  .  .  .  .  36 



Szegedin.  —  The  Banat  —  its  History.  —  Fertility.  —  State  of 
Agriculture.  —  Climate.  —  Mines.  —  Population.  —  Prosperous 
Villages. — The  Peasant  and  the  Bishop  of  Agram.  —  The  New 
Urbarium.  —  The  Kammeral  Administration.  —  Temesvar.  — 
Roads. — Baron  Wenkheim's  Reforms. — A  Wolf  Hunt.  .  71 
VOL.  ii.  a  3 




Valley  of  the  Temes.— Wallack  Beauty.— Ovid's  Tower.— Iron 
Works  at  Ruskberg. — Effects  of  regular  Work  and  regular  Pay. 
— Reformers  in  Hungary.  —  Iron  Bridge.  —  Iron-gate  Pass,  be- 
tween Hungary  and  Transylvania. — Hospitality. — Varhely  the 
Ulpia  Trajana  of  the  Romans.  —  The  Dacians  under  their 
native  kings — conquered  by  Trajan. — Wallack  Language  like 
the  Italian.  —  Wallacks  of  Dacian,  not  Roman,  Origin.  — 
Roman  Remains  at  Varhely. — Amphitheatre. — Mosaics.  Page  94 



Demsus. — The  Leiter-Wagen. — Roman  Temple — its  Form  and 
probable  History.  —  Paintings  in  Wallack  Churches. — Wallack 
Priests  and  their  Wives.  —  Russian  Influence  over  the  Mem- 
bers of  the  Greek  Church. — Origin  of  the  United  Greek  Church. 
— Religious  Oppression. — Education  of  the  Greek  Priesthood. — 
Village  of  Varhely.  —  The  Wallack  Women.  —  Wallacks  and 
Scotchmen.— Wallack  Vices  and  Wallack  Virtues.— The  Devil's 
Dancers.  —  Our  Host's  Family.  —  Household  Arrangements. — 
The  Buffalo 119 



Valley  of  Hdtszeg.— Wallack  Gallantry.— Transylvanian  Tra- 
velling.— Arrival  at  Vayda  Hunyad. — The  Gipsy  Girl. — Hun- 
yadi  Janos. — Castle  of  Hunyad. — The  painted  Tower — A  Depu- 
tation.— A  Rogue  found  out — Deva. — Valley  of  the  Maros. — 
H taken  for  a  Spy. — Visit  to  the  Mines  of  Nagy  Ag. — Po- 
liteness from  a  Stranger. — Transylvanian  Post-office. — Sandstone 
oftheFelek.  153 




Transylvania — its  population. — Settlement  of  the  Szeklers — 
of  the  Magyars — of  the  Saxons — under  Woiwodes. — Zapolya. — 
Native  Princes.  —  Bethlen  Gabor. — Aristocratic  Democracy. — 
Union  with  Austria.  —  Diploma  Leopoldinum. — Confirmed  by 
Maria  Theresa. — Actual  Form  of  Government. — Constitution  in- 
fringed.— Opposition. — Baron  Wesselenyi. — County  Meetings. — 
Grievances. — General  Vlasits. — Diet  of  1834. — Archduke  Fer- 
dinand.— History  of  the  Diet.  —  Violent  Dissolution.  —  Moral 
Opposition Page  181 



Transylvanian  Roads.  —  A  Solitary  Inn.  —  Drag.  —  Zsibo. — 
Horse-breeding. — Old  Transylvanian  Breed. — Count  Banffy's  Stud. 
— English  Breed.— Baron  Wesselenyi's  Stud. — A  Cross. — Babolna 
Arabs.  —  Interesting  Experiment.  —  Rakotzy. — Robot. — Ride  to 
Hadad.  —  The  Vintage.  —  Transylvanian  Wines.  —  Oak  Woods. 

—  Scotch  Farmer.  —  A  Reformer's  Trials.  —  State  of  the  Pea- 
santry.— Urbarium. — Stewards. — Establishments  of  the  Nobles. 

—  Social  Anomalies.  —  Old  Fashions.  —  The  Dinner.  —  Drive  to 
Nagy  Banya. — Gipsies. — Gold   Mines. — Private  Speculations. — 
Return.     .  .  .  .  .  .  .211 



Horse  Fair  at  Klausenburg.  —  Moldavian  Horses. —  Cholera  in 
Klausenburg. — Thorda. — Valley  of  the  Aranyos. — Miklos  and 
his  Peccadilloes. — A  Transylvanian  Invitation. — The  Wallack 

viii  CONTENTS. 

Judge.—  Thoroczko. —  The  Unitarian  Clergyman. —  St.  Gyorgy. 
— A  Transylvanian  Widow.  —  Peasants'  Cottages. — The  Cholera. 
—A  Lady's  Road.— Thordai  Hasadek.— The  Salt  Mines  of  Sza- 

mos  Ujvar.— The  Salt  Tax Karlsburg.— The  Cathedral  and 

krumme  Peter. — Wallack  Charity. — Zalatua. — Abrud  Banya. — 
The  Gold  Mines  of  Verb's  Patak.— Csetatie. — Detonata. — Return. 
— College  of  Nagy  Enyed. — English  Fund.— System  of  Educa- 
tion. .  Page  255 



The  Szeklers — their  ancient  Rights  and  modern  Position. — 
The  Mezoseg. —  Maros  Vasarhely. —  Chancellor  Teleki  and  his 
Library.  —  A  Szekler  Inn.  —  The  Szekler  Character.  —  Salt 
Rocks  at  Szovata. — The  Cholera  and  the  spare  Bed.  —  Miseria 
cum  aceto. —  Glories  of  Grock. —  Salt-Mines  of  Parayd.  —  Ud- 
varhely.  —  St.  Pal. — Excursion  to  Almas. —  Superstition. —  The 
Cavern.  —  Sepsi  St.  Gyorgy.  —  Kesdi  Vasarhely.  —  The  French 
Brewer.  —  The  Szekler  Schools.  —  Szekler  Hospitality.  —  The 
Biidos.— The  Harom-Szek.  312 



The  Saxon  Land.— Settlement  of  the  Saxons— their  Charter. 
— Political  and  Municipal  Privileges. — Saxon  Character. — School 
Sickness.  —  Kronstadt. — A  Hunting  Party. —  Smuggling  from 
Wallachia. — The  Bear  and  the  General.— Terzburg  and  the  Ger- 
man Knights. —  Excursion  to  Bucses. — The  Kalibaschen. — The 
Convent.— The  Valleys  of  Bucses,— Virtue  in  Self-denial— The 
Alpine  Horn. —  Fortified  Churches  and  Infidel  Invasions.— Fa- 
garas. — Hermanstadt.— Baron  Bruchenthal. — RothenThurm  Pass. 
— A  Digression  on  Wallachia  and  Moldavia. — Saxon  Language. 
— Beauty  of  Transylvania 349 




Transylvanian  Hospitality. — Klausenburg. — Transylvanian  In- 
comes.—  Money  Matters. — The  Gipsy  Band.  —  Our  Quarters. — 
The  Stove.— The  Great  Square.— -The  Recruiting  Party.— A  Soi- 
ree. —The  Clergy. — The  Reformed  Church. — Religious  Opinions. 
— The  Consistory. — Domestic  Service. — County  Meeting. — Count 
Bethlen  Janos. — Progress  of  Public  Opinion. — The  Arch-Duke. — 
The  Students  and  Officers. — Climate. — Separation  of  three  Coun- 
ties.—  The  Unitarians. — Habits  of  Society. — The  Ladies. — Edu- 
cation.— Children  and  Parents. — Divorces. — Casino  and  Smoking. 
—Funerals.— Schools.— The  Theatre.  .  .  .  Page  396 



Return  to  Pest. — A  Poet. —  Travelling  Comforts. —  The  Car- 
riers.—  Gross  Wardein.  —  Prince  Hohenlohe. —  The  Italian. — 
Paprika  Hendel. — Great  Cumania. — The  Cumanians  and  Jazy- 
gers. — The  worst  Road  in  Hungary.  .  .  .  .437 



A  Ball. —  Ladies'  Costume. —  Luxury  and  Barbarism. —  Uni- 
versity of  Pest. — Number  of  Schools. — Austrian  System  of  Edu- 
cation—  its  Effects. —  Corruption  of  Justice.  —  Delays  of  the 
Law.  —  Literature.  —  Mr.  Kolcsey.  —  Baron  Josika. —  Arts  and 
Artists. —  The  Theatre.  —  Magyar  Language. —  Mr.  Korosi  and 
his  expedition  to  Thibet. — Trade  Companies. —  Popular  Jokes. — 
Austria,  Hungary,  and  Russia. — Blunders  of  Mr.  Quin  and  other 
English  Writers  on  Hungary. — The  last  Ball  of  the  Carnival. — 
The  Masquerade. — The  breaking  up  of  the  Ice.  .  .448 




Departure  from  Pest. — Notary  of  Teteny. — Volcanic  District. — 
Bakonyer  Forest. — Subri. — Hungarian  Robbers. — Conscription. — 
Wine  of  Somlyo. — Keszthely. — Signs  of  Civilization. — Costume 
of  Nagy  Kanisa. — The  Drave. —  Death  of  Zriny. — Croatia  and 
Sclavonia. — State  of  the  Peasantry. — Agram. — Croatian  Language. 
— Public  Feeling  in  Croatia.  —  Smuggling. — Karlstadt. — Save 
and  Kulpa. — The  Ludovica  Road — its  Importance. — Fiume. — 
English  Paper  Mill. — Commerce. — Productions  of  Hungary. — 
Demand  for  English  Goods  in  Hungary. — Causes  which  impede 
Commerce,  and  the  Means  of  their  Removal  .  .  Page  492 




BELGRADE  .  .  .  .  .1 

BORDER   GUARD-HOUSES       .  .  .  .  .17 

BABAKAY  ......  36 

DANUBE,    NEAR   KAZAN  .  .  .  .41 

STERBECZU  ALMARE  .  .  .  .  .43 

TRAJAN'S  TABLET  .  .  .  .  .44 

PLAN  OF  VIA  TRAJAN  A  .  .  .  .46 

WALLACES  ......        47 

PASHA'S  HOUSE  AT  ORSOVA  .  .  .  .50 

THE  IRON  GATES  .  .  .  .  .55 

REMAINS  OF  TRAJAN'S  BRIDGE      .  .  .  .58 

PLAN  OF  TRAJAN'S  BRIDGE  ....         ib. 


TURKISH  AQUEDUCT          .....         65 

VALLEY  OF  MEHADIA        .  .  .  .  .70 

OVID'S  TOWER      .  .  .  .  .  .94 

TWO  WALLACK  HEADS       .  .  .  .  .112 


ROMAN  TEMPLE  AT  DEMSUS  .  .  .  .120 

VILLAGE  OF  VARHELY      .  .  .131 



GIPSY   GIRL  ......         159 

CASTLE   OF    HUNYAD  .  .  .  .  .165 

VALLEY    OF   THE   MAROS,    FROM    DEVA   CASTLE  .  .180 

SOLITARY    INN         .  .  .  .  .  .211 

ZSIBO          .......          222 

VALLEY    OF    THE    ARANYOS,    AT    BARE  .  .  .          255 

BAYLUKA  ......         276 

A   SECOND   CAVERN  .  .  .  .  ib. 

THE    DETONATA      ......          302 

VALLEY    OF    ALMAS  .  .  .  .  .331 

KRONSTADT  .  .  .  .  .  .357 

HERMITAGE   OF    BUCSES        .  .  .  .  .376 

VALLEY    OF    BUCSES  .  .  .  .  .379 

TRANS YLVANIAN    GROOM   AND   HOUSEMAID  .  .         396 

OLD    TOWER   AT    KLAUSENBURG  .  «  .  .          436 

HUNGARIAN    LADY    IN    HER    NATIONAL   COSTUME  .  .          448 

WOMEN'S  HEAD-DRESSES     .....       502 




The  Zriny.  —  The  Country  below  Pest.  —  Waste  Lands.  —  An 
Accident.  —  Mohacs.  —  Peterwardein.  —  Karlowitz.  —  The 
Drave.  —  Semlin.  —  The  Crusaders.  —  The  Save.  —  Belgrade. 
—  Danube  Navigation. —  The  Border  Guard  :  their  Laws  and 
Organization. —  The  Theiss  and  Temes. — Semendria. —  George 
Dosa. — Danube  Scenery. — Servia,  and  Russian  Policy. 

AFTER  a  few  days7  rest  at  Pest,  we  again  prepared 
to  encounter  the  fatigues  of  travel.  A  remarkably 
fine  steam-boat,  the  Zriny,  which  had  just  been 
launched,  was  about  to  make  her  first  voyage,  and 
we  gladly  availed  ourselves  of  the  opportunity  to 
get  clown  to  Moldova.  A  trial  of  her  powers  had 

VOL.  II.  B 


been  made  a  few  days  previously,  in  an  excursion 
up  the  river  as  far  as  Waitzen,  with  not  less  than 
five  hundred  persons  on  board.  Count  Sze'chenyi, 
by  directing  this  little  pleasure-trip,  to  which  every 
one  was  admitted  on  paying  a  zwanziger  (ten- 
pence),  had  managed  to  interest  a  great  number  of 
persons  in  the  success  of  the  new  boat;  no  small 
matter  where  steam  navigation  is  still  a  novelty,  and 
where  it  was  met  with  countless  prejudices  which 
are  but  yet  disappearing.  I  think  I  know  directors 
of  companies,  who  would  have  preferred  private 
tickets,  and  a  party  of  their  own  friends  ;  by  which, 
of  course,  all  the  excluded  would  have  been  offended. 
Which  was  the  wiser  system  I  leave  my  readers  to 
decide.  We  joined  the  party  to  Waitzen,  and  had 
an  opportunity  of  seeing  the  first  meeting  of  two 
steam-boats  which  ever  took  place  on  the  waters  of 
the  Danube.  The  Pannonia  was  returning  from 
Presburg,  and  met  us  near  the  termination  of  our 
voyage.  Count  Szechenyi,  who  was  on  board  the 
Zriny,  was  recognised  and  loudly  cheered  by  both 
crews,  on  the  occasion  of  this  new  advance  to  the 
accomplishment  of  his  favourite  scheme.  I  thought 
the  Count's  voice  faltered,  and  his  eye  grew  moist, 
as  he  exclaimed,  "Now  I  am  sure  wre  shall  suc- 
ceed, and  Hungary  will  not  be  for  ever  a  stranger 
to  Europe." 

It  was  fixed  that  we  should  start  for  Moldova 
at  five  in  the  morning ;  and  so  exact  were  they 
to  the  time,  that  the  boat  was  pushed  off  between 


the  striking  of  the  clocks  of  Pest  and  Buda.  This 
regularity  is  likely  enough  to  make  a  change  in 
the  national  character  of  all  the  Danubian  popula- 
tions, at  least  in  respect  to  punctuality.  A  fter  one 
of  the  fairs,  when  the  steam-boats  first  began  to 
ply  between  Semlin  and  Pest,  a  large  party  of 
Servian  and  Turkish  merchants  had  taken  their 
places  on  board,  in  order  to  return  to  Belgrade, 
and  were  duly  informed  that  the  vessel  would  start 
at  five.  As  this  did  not  happen  to  suit  these  wor- 
thy people's  habits,  and  as  they  had  no  idea  that 
the  boat  would  leave  without  them,  they  marched 
solemnly  down  to  the  quay  about  eight,  and,  after 
walking  up  and  down  for  some  time  in  search  of 
the  vessel,  they  were  at  last  made  to  understand 
that  she  had  gone  three  hours  before.  Their  as- 
tonishment and  consternation  are  said  to  have  been 
most  ludicrous;  but  it  was  not  without  its  effect, 
for  none  of  these  people  have  been  too  late  for  the 
steam-boat  from  that  day  to  this. 

Our  party  in  the  Zriny  was  small,  but  exceed- 
ingly agreeable ;  the  Baroness  W and  her  ami- 
able and  pretty  daughter,  Count  Sz^chenyi  on  his 
way  to  superintend  the  works  near  Orsova,  two 
of  our  own  countrymen  bound  for  Constantinople, 
and  ourselves,  formed  almost  the  whole  of  the 
passengers.  The  morning  was  cold  and  misty,  but 
it  soon  cleared  up  into  a  fine  autumn  day.  On 
the  Pest  side,  the  country  is  one  continued  flat, 
and  on  the  other,  the  low  hills,  which  extend  for 



some  distance  from  the  Blocksberg,  soon  disappear 
altogether,  and  a  level  plain  extended  on  every  side. 
It  would  be  useless  to  describe  the  whole  of  our 
route.  The  scenery  has  little  variety.  The  flat 
plain  is  sometimes  raised  into  small  sand-hills 
covered  with  vines,  the  thick  woods  are  sometimes 
broken  by  a  little  pasture  and  corn-land  surrounding 
a  village  or  small  town ;  the  banks  are  generally 
low ;  the  river  itself  deep,  wide,  and  less  rapid 
than  above,  indeed  in  every  respect  much  better 
calculated  for  navigation  ;  but,  for  the  rest,  a  mono- 
tonous uniformity  pervaded  the  whole  of  our  first 
day's  journey. 

The  number  of  islands  in  this  part  of  the  Danube 
is  very  great ;  some  of  them  of  considerable  extent, 
others  serving  only  to  ornament  the  river.  As  they 
are  mostly  low,  they  are  but  of  little  value;  the 
smaller  ones  are  chiefly  in  wood,  the  larger  are 
partly  swamp  and  partly  pasture.  Floating  water- 
mills  mark  the  approach  to  almost  every  village. 
The  only  craft  we  met,  except  the  small  canoes  of 
the  peasants,  and  the  flat-bottomed  boats  which,  on 
the  firing  of  a  gun,  came  to  take  off  passengers,  were 
the  long  barge-like  vessels  from  Szegedin.  These 
are  clean-built  boats,  covered  in  with  a  kind  of 
deck,  and  chiefly  employed  in  bringing  up  corn 
from  the  country  of  the  Theiss  and  Temes  to  Pest 
and  Vienna.  They  are  commonly  towed  up  the 
stream  by  men  or  horses.  I  have  seen  as  many  as 
forty-six  of  the  former,  and  twenty  of  the  latter, 


employed  at  one  boat.  Accidents  are  very  com- 
mon among  these  men ;  and  it  is  no  rare  thing  to 
see  the  body  of  a  man  or  horse  floating  down  the 
Danube.  The  body  is  probably  allowed  to  proceed 
to  the  Black  Sea,  without  any  one  thinking  it  worth 
while  to  interrupt  its  course  or  inquire  the  cause 
of  death. 

None  of  the  towns  or  villages  passed  during  the 
first  day  presented  anything  worthy  of  remark  ;  their 
white-washed  cottages  and  steeples  had  a  look  of 
cleanliness  which  the  interior  would  hardly  bear 
out,  I  fear.  Among  the  largest  were  Foldvar, 
Paks,  Tolna,  Baja,  and  Bata. 

We  saw  a  great  number  of  wild-fowl  at  different 
times.  The  ducks  were  in  immense  flocks;  and 
hawks,  particularly  a  white  species,  very  plentiful. 
Of  the  pelicans,  which  are  so  common  lower  down, 
we  saw  none ;  nor  did  we  observe  any  of  the  white 
herons,  which  yield  the  beautiful  aigrettes,  though 
they  are  said  to  be  pretty  frequent.  The  solitary 
beaver,  which  is  common  enough  above  Vienna,  is 
rarely  or  never  found  in  Hungary. 

We  were  told  that,  on  the  east  bank,  the  immense 
tract  of  land,  extending  much  further  than  we 
could  see,  is  almost  useless,  from  the  wet  and 
boggy  state  in  which  it  is  allowed  to  lie.  It  is 
calculated  that  by  embankments  and  canals  it 
might  be  all  reclaimed  at  the  cost  of  about  four 
shillings  an  acre ;  and,  at  the  lowest  calculation, 
it  would  let  for  as  much  per  annum,  Yet  it  still 


lies  waste.  The  chief  proprietors  are  not  above 
six  in  number.  One  has  got  no  money  to  begin 
with  ;  another  has  already  more  corn  than  he  can 
sell ;  and  a  third  likes  to  let  things  remain  as 
they  are :  and  so  land,  which  would  maintain  a 
million  of  men,  is  left  to  grow  leeches  and  to  breed 
fevers.  Were  it  not  that  one  set  of  bad  laws 
renders  the  title  to  purchased  property  so  insecure, 
and  another  set  makes  the  sale  of  corn  often  im- 
possible, of  course  foreign  capital  would  soon 
remedy  such  evils  as  these. 

At  Baja,  to  our  no  small  regret,  the  ladies  left 
us.  Carriages  were  in  waiting ;  a  host  of  depend- 
ants were  there  to  kiss  their  hands  and  welcome 
them  home ;  and,  as  we  passed  on,  a  cloud  of 
dust  hid  them  from  our  sight,  though  it  did  not 
drive  them  from  our  memories. 

Soon  after  leaving  Baja,  we  passed  through  a 
canal,  cut  a  few  years  since  to  avoid  a  long  and 
difficult  winding  of  the  river. 

As  it  was  getting  dusk,  I  had  retired  to  the 
cabin  to  write  up  my  journal :  when,  soon  after 
we  had  quitted  the  canal,  a  sudden  shock  threw 
everything  about  with  great  violence,  and  brought 
us  all  on  deck  to  know  what  was  the  matter.  We 
found  the  boat  aground,  with  her  prow  high  and 
dry  on  shore.  The  light  of  the  moon,  with  a  slight 
mist  on  the  water,  had  deceived  the  captain,  and 
led  him  to  think  he  was  on  the  edge  of  a  sand- 
bank ;  to  avoid  which  he  put  the  boat  about, 


and  ran  her  straight  ashore.  It  was  altogether  a 
sad  bungle.  In  such  a  light,  some  one  should  have 
been  a-head  to  look  out.  Fortunately  no  harm  was 
done;  but  it  prevented  us  from  going  on  during 
the  night,  which  had  been  Count  Szechenyi's  first 
intention.  We  accordingly  came  to  anchor  at 
Mohacs  about  eight  o'clock,  having  run  one  hun- 
dred and  eighty  miles  in  fifteen  hours. 

This  was  the  first  voyage  the  captain  had  ever 
made ;  and  he  was  dismissed  immediately  on  his 
return.  I  mention  this  fact,  because  it  shows  with 
what  care  the  interests  of  the  public  are  watched 
over  by  this  company :  indeed,  were  it  otherwise,  it 
would  be  impossible  to  conceive  how  they  could 
have  escaped  for  so  many  years  under  all  the 
disadvantages  of  a  new  undertaking,  without  a 
single  serious  accident.  Had  any  loss  of  life  oc- 
curred during  the  first  year  or  two,  it  is  very 
possible  Government,  in  its  paternal  carefulness, 
would  at  once  have  stopped  the  whole  affair.  To 
avoid  such  a  catastrophe,  no  engines  have  been 
employed  but  those  of  Bolton  and  Watt ;  nor  any 
engineers  but  those  brought  up  and  recommended 
by  the  same  house.  They  have  been  treated,  too, 
in  the  most  liberal  manner.  The  captains,  likewise, 
are  generally  very  superior  men ;  and  it  is  im- 
possible not  to  admire  the  consideration  with  which 
Count  Sz^chenyi  behaves  towards  them.  They  are 
frequently  invited  to  his  table,  consulted  on  every 
point  of  difficulty,  and  their  opinions  listened  to 


and  followed.  It  is  by  such  means  that  steam 
navigation  on  the  Danube  has  been,  at  its  very 
commencement,  brought  to  a  degree  of  perfection 
which  it  has  required  many  years'  experience  to 
effect  in  other  countries. 

Mohacs,  otherwise  an  insignificant  town,  has 
witnessed  two  of  the  most  important  battles  ever 
fought  in  Europe  ;  important  not  only  from  the 
number  of  the  combatants,  but  from  their  political 
results.  The  first  of  them,  in  1526,  which  witnessed 
the  slaughter  of  a  king,  seven  bishops,  five  hun- 
dred nobles,  and  twenty  thousand  soldiers,  not  only 
laid  open  the  whole  country  to  the  inroads  of  the 
Turks,  and  established  them  for  nearly  a  century 
and  a  half  in  its  capital,  but  changed  the  reigning 
dynasty  of  Hungary,  and  introduced  for  the  first 
time  a  German  sovereign  to  the  Hungarian  throne. 
By  the  same  blow  too  Transylvania  was  separated 
from  Hungary,  and  remained  so  for  many  years. 
The  second,  in  1687,  undid  much  of  what  the 
first  had  done :  it  concluded  the  splendid  victories 
of  the  Duke  of  Lorraine  over  the  Turks  ;  it  opened 
Transylvania  to  the  Hungarian  troops ;  and  prepared 
the  way  for  the  expulsion  of  the  Moslem,  which  a 
few  years  later  was  finally  effected. 

After  taking  in  a  supply  of  coals,  obtained  in  this 
neighbourhood,  and  said  to  be  of  a  pretty  good 
quality,  we  again  got  our  paddles  in  motion  and 
went  gaily  on  our  way.  One  cannot  help  wonder- 
ing at  the  hidden  resources  which  any  new  neces- 

THE   DRAVE.  9 

sity  discloses.  In  Hungary,  before  steam-boats  were 
introduced,  there  was  only  one  coal-mine  known 
in  the  whole  country.  In  the  short  space  of  time 
which  has  elapsed  since  their  first  establishment, 
three  others  and  of  better  quality  have  been  disco- 
vered along  the  valley  of  the  Danube  alone, — that 
of  Count  Sandor  between  Presburg  and  Pest,  an- 
other in  the  neighbourhood  of  Mohacs,  and  the  best 
of  all  at  Orawitza  near  Moldova.  There  is  a  bad 
law  in  Hungary,  which  interdicts  the  cutting  down 
of  forests  on  the  plea  of  maintaining  a  supply  of 
fire-wood.  Of  course  it  is  vain  to  expect  a  full 
developement  of  the  mineral  riches  of  the  country 
until  this  law  is  abolished. 

Our  second  day's  route  became  rather  less  mono- 
tonous. About  twelve  we  passed  the  embouchure 
of  the  Drave,  which  has  all  the  appearance  of  a 
fine  navigable  river.  At  present  the  Drave  is  little 
used,  but  it  is  impossible  not  to  foresee  a  brilliant 
future  for  it.  Extending  from  the  centre  of  Hun- 
gary along  the  north  of  Sclavonia  and  Croatia,  and 
through  the  whole  of  Styria,  it  brings  into  connec- 
tion populations  so  far  removed  from  sea-ports  that 
water-carriage  cannot  fail  to  offer  them  advantages 
of  which  a  few  years  will  teach  them  to  avail  them- 
selves. The  scenery  was  occasionally  varied  by  a 
ruined  castle,  or  a  slight  elevation  in  the  surface  of 
the  plain,  of  which  the  peasants  eagerly  avail  them- 
selves and  form  into  vineyards.  The  castle  of  Erdod, 
with  its  massive  round  towers,  is  highly  picturesque, 


but  it  is  fast  crumbling  to  decay.  From  the  mouth 
of  the  Drave  we  have  been  passing,  on  the  west,  the 
banks  of  Sclavonia,  which  appears  a  rich  and  highly 
cultivated  country.  The  people  are,  like  the  Croa- 
tians  of  a  Sclavish  race,  and  belong  exclusively  to 
the  Greek  and  Catholic  Churches.  I  believe  the 
only  difference  between  these  provinces  and  the 
rest  of  Hungary,  at  the  present  time,  is  their 
power  of  excluding  Protestants  from  the  possession 
of  land  or  the  enjoyment  of  any  privileges  within 
their  boundaries. 

At  Vukovar  we  stopped  to  land  some  handsome 
furniture  from  Vienna.  It  is  said  to  be  astonishing 
how  much  furniture  and  how  many  carriages  have 
been  sent  from  Pest  and  Vienna,  not  only  to  the 
southern  parts  of  Hungary,  but  into  Wallachia  and 
Turkey,  since  the  steam-boats  have  been  establish- 
ed. The  monastery  at  Vukovar  has  a  pretty  ap- 
pearance from  the  river.  The  town  produces  some 

A  short  turn  of  the  river  now  brought  us  in  view 
of  the  ruins  of  Scherengrad ;  and,  a  little  further 
on,  we  came  to  the  castle  of  Illok  a  large  building, 
though  apparently  somewhat  neglected.  It  be- 
longs, as  well  as  immense  estates  here,  to  Prince 
Odescalchi.  A  low  range  of  hills  has  accompa- 
nied us  along  the  west  bank  for  some  distance; 
and  the  openings  which  they  sometimes  present,  dis- 
closing their  green  valleys,  and  silver  streams,  and 
whitewashed  cottages,  and  fantastic  steeples,  are 


most  beautiful.  It  became  so  dark  about  seven, 
that,  to  avoid  accidents,  we  dropped  our  anchor 
opposite  OFutak  for  the  night. 

We  were  scarcely  awake  next  morning  when 
we  were  roused  up  to  see  the  fortress  of  Peter- 
wardein.  Directly  above  our  heads,  with  cur- 
tains, bastions,  and  towers  grinning  with  artillery 
after  the  most  approved  fashion,  was  the  hill  of 
Peterwardein,  and  on  the  opposite  side  a  tete  du 
pont,  and  other  hard-named  outworks  in  great 
abundance.  Though  modern  fortifications  have 
very  little  architectural  beauty  to  boast,  the  fine 
situation  of  this  gives  it  a  commanding  effect. 
Peterwardein  is,  I  believe,  considered  strong;  and 
occupies  a  position  of  considerable  military  im- 
portance. It  is  adapted  to  contain  ten  thousand 

Neusatz,  on  the  opposite  side,  chiefly  inhabited 
by  Greeks,  is  an  important  commercial  town. 

A  long  bend  of  the  river  to  the  north  brought 
us  to  Karlowitz,  a  pretty  little  town  situated  at  the 
foot  of  a  hill  covered  with  vines  down  to  its  very 
base.  A  celebrated  wine  is  made  here  by  a  mix- 
ture of  red  and  white  grapes,  which  from  its  pecu- 
liar colour  is  called  Schiller. 

Karlowitz  is  the  seat  of  the  chief  of  the  non- 
united  Greek  church  in  Hungary,  and  contains  a 
lyceum  and  theological  school  of  that  religion. 
I  need  scarcely  add  that  it  is  from  this  place  the 
celebrated  peace  of  1699  takes  its  name.  A  few 

12  SEMLIN. 

miles  further  brought  us  to  the  mouth  of  the 
Theiss,  which  has  here  —  and  Count  Szechenyi 
says,  throughout  its  whole  course — much  the  same 
width  it  has  at  Tokay,  a  distance  of  more  than 
two  hundred  miles  in  a  direct  line,  and  probably 
twice  that  distance  by  the  river.  It  is  navigable 
for  steam  vessels  the  whole  of  that  extent. 

We  met  the  Francis  the  First,  the  steamer,  on 
this  station,  returning  from  Moldova  heavily  laden 
with  wool,  but  carrying  few  passengers.  They  say 
the  back-freights  consist  principally  of  wool,  honey, 
iron,  tobacco,  and  wine ;  while  those  down  are 
almost  entirely  composed  of  manufactured  goods. 
They  have  been  offered  freights  of  fat  pigs  from 
Servia,  but  have  been  obliged  to  decline  them  till 
they  get  some  tug-boats  at  work.  Pigs  form  a 
very  important  article  of  trade  between  Servia  and 
Vienna ;  the  immense  oak-woods,  with  which  that 
country  is  covered,  being  used  almost  exclusively 
for  feeding  those  animals.  The  Servian  pig  is  a 
beautiful  creature ;  and  I  doubt  if  Smithfield  could 
show  better  shapes  or  better  feeding  in  this  particu- 
lar than  the  market  of  a  Servian  village. 

As  we  approached  Semlin  the  banks  became 
more  flat ;  and  the  river,  which  had  hitherto  not 
averaged  more  than  a  quarter  of  a  mile  in  width, 
acquired  a  more  extended  bed. 

Semlin  is  one  of  those  localities  which  Nature 
herself  has  marked  out  for  the  position  of  a  town. 
Tt  occupies  the  angle  formed  by  the  junction  of 

SEMLIN.  13 

two  vast  rivers,  the  Danube  and  the  Save ;  and 
it  becomes  necessarily  a  depot  for  supplying  the 
wants  of  the  people  occupying  their  banks.  Count 
Szechenyi  tells  us  that  the  Save  is  navigable,  and 
he  feels  sure  it  will  very  soon  have  its  steam-boats 
as  well  as  the  Danube.  From  the  day  of  their  esta- 
blishment Semlin  may  date  a  new  birth.  It  is  at 
present  chiefly  supported  by  its  intercourse  with 
Servia,  on  the  opposite  bank  of  the  Save ;  and 
in  consequence,  the  majority  of  its  ten  thousand 
inhabitants  belong  to  that  nation.  It  contains  some 
tolerable  streets  in  the  interior,  but  the  part  near 
the  Danube  looks  as  miserable  as  need  be  ;  indeed, 
the  greater  portion  visible  from  the  steam-boat  is 
the  gipsy  town,  a  collection  of  mud  huts  on  the 
side  of  the  hill.  Until  the  establishment  of  steam- 
boats, Semlin  was  the  usual  starting-point  for  Con- 
stantinople ;  and  it  was  here  that  quarantine  was 
performed  on  returning.  It  is  still  used  by  the 
couriers ;  but  travellers  generally  prefer  the  com- 
fort of  a  steam-boat  to  the  hardships  of  a  Tatar 
excursion  across  the  Balkan. 

Semlin  is  historically  memorable  as  the  Mala 
Villa  of  the  first  crusaders.  The  three  hundred 
thousand  of  the  dregs  of  Europe,  who  had  terrified 
all  Germany  with  their  frightful  excesses,  at  last 
approached  the  frontiers  of  Hungary.  The  avant- 
garde,  under  Walter  Sans-avoir,  having  demanded 
and  obtained  permission  to  pass  through  the  coun- 
try, arrived  at  Semlin  without  impediment ;  but 


here  sixteen  of  the  men  fell  into  the  hands  of 
the  peasants  and  were  robbed.  When  the  larger 
body,  under  the  guidance  of  Peter  the  Hermit, 
arrived,  and  heard  of  this  mishap,  they  determined 
to  revenge  it  by  the  destruction  of  Semlin  and  its 
garrison  of  four  thousand  men.  So  infamous  a 
treachery  soon  drew  on  the  crusaders  the  rage  of 
a  people  who,  but  half  converted,  had  not  yet 
learned  to  hate  with  due  cordiality  all  who  differed 
from  them  in  faith ;  and  Peter  and  his  followers 
thought  themselves  fortunate  to  escape  as  best  they 
could  across  the  Danube.  Volkmar,  with  twelve 
thousand  Bohemians,  who  had  advanced  no  farther 
than  Neutra,  were  cut  to  pieces.  Of  the  fifteen 
thousand  Germans  who  followed  the  priest  Gott- 
schalk,  scarcely  three  thousand  escaped  the  arrows 
of  the  Hungarians;  while  the  two  hundred  thou- 
sand rabble  of  both  sexes  and  of  every  age,  which 
brought  up  the  rear  under  Emiko,  panic-struck  at 
the  fate  of  their  companions,  broke  up  their  camp 
before  the  King  of  Hungary  could  approach  Ung- 
risch  Altenburg,  which  they  were  besieging,  and 
dispersed  without  having  even  approached  the 
object  of  their  fanatic  veneration.  It  required 
nothing  less  than  the  noble  courage,  the  frankness, 
and  the  piety  of  Godefroy  de  Bouillon  to  re-esta- 
blish a  respect  for  the  crusaders  or  their  religion 
in  the  minds  of  the  half  pagan  Hungarians. 

We  remained  but  a  short  time  at  Semlin,  to  take 
in  coals,  and  submit  our  passports  to  the  inspection 


of  a  police  officer.  Since  steam  has  brought  so 
many  strangers  down  the  Danube,  Austria  has 
begun  to  establish  the  system  of  passports  here ; 
and,  if  the  Hungarians  do  not  look  to  it  they 
themselves  will  soon  feel  its  annoyance  as  well  as 
the  foreigners  who  visit  them. 

A  few  minutes  after  we  quitted  Semlin,  the  guns 
were  got  ready  and  we  fired  a  salute  to  the  garrison 
of  Belgrade,  which  was  returned  in  due  form.  This 
ceremonious  politeness  to  Belgrade  seemed  rather  a 
testimony  of  respect  to  what  it  had  been,  than  to 
what  it  now  is,  for  its  glory  is  sadly  fallen.  Its  hill 
is  still  covered  with  walls,  and  gates,  and  towers ; 
but  the  walls  are  half  down,  the  gates  open,  and 
the  towers  dismantled.  A  Pasha  still  sits  in  its 
fortress,  but  he  could  no  longer  defy  the  best  troops 
of  Europe  from  his  stronghold. 

As  we  passed,  a  few  Turks  were  seen  lying  lazily 
along  the  banks  of  the  river  ;  others  were  watering 
their  horses ;  while,  a  little  further  on,  a  group  of 
Servian  women  were  washing,  up  to  their  knees  in 
the  water.  The  town  of  Belgrade,  which  lies  beyond 
the  fortress,  has  a  very  beautiful  appearance,  from 
the  number  of  minarets  and  domes  peeping  from 
out  the  dark  cypresses  by  which  they  are  sur- 
rounded. This  was  the  first  glimpse  I  had  ever 
caught  of  a  minaret,  and  I  can  scarcely  express 
the  pleasure  it  gave  me ;  it  was  something  so  new, 
and  yet  so  familiar. 

It   was   near  Belgrade,  for  the   first   time   since 


we  had  embarked  on  the  Danube,  that  a  sail  had 
met  our  eye.  The  Hungarian  never  uses  the  sail, 
the  only  means  of  moving  against  the  stream  he  is 
acquainted  with  is  towing :  and,  though  he  has  seen 
the  sail  employed  for  so  many  centuries  on  the  op- 
posite side  of  the  same  river,  he  has  never  thought 
of  applying  it  himself.  It  was  curious  enough  to 
see  the  Hungarian,  Turkish,  and  English  systems  of 
navigation  in  use  at  the  same  moment :  upwards  of 
forty  men  were  toiling  to  drag  a  huge  barge  against 
a  strong  stream  on  the  Hungarian  bank ;  on  the 
Servian,  the  lattine  sail  bore  the  Turkish  boat  gaily 
before  the  wind  ;  while,  in  the  middle,  the  glorious 
invention  of  Watt  urged  on  the  magnificent  Zriny, 
and  threatened  to  swallow  up  the  crazy  craft  of 
the  others  in  her  wake.  One  might  have  fancied 
three  ages  of  the  world  in  presence  of  each  other 
at  the  same  moment. 

A  new  feature  in  the  landscape,  and  for  us  a 
new  object  of  wonder  and  inquiry,  soon  caught  our 
eyes.  All  along  the  Hungarian  bank,  at  certain 
distances,  perhaps  half  a  mile  apart,  were  small 
buildings,  sometimes  made  of  wood,  and  raised  on 
posts,  or  in  other  situations,  mere  mud  huts,  before 
each  of  which  stood  a  sentry  on  duty.  They 
were  the  stations  of  the  Hungarian  military  fron- 
tier guard. 

An  institution  of  so  extraordinary  a  character  as 
that  on  which  we  had  now  fallen,  demands  a  few 
words  of  explanation. 


From  a  very  early  period  the  banks  of  the  Save 
and  Danube,  from  their  frontier  position,  were  in- 
fested by  bands  of  Servians  and  others,  who  lived 
in  a  great  measure  by  war  and  plunder :  many  of 
these  were  fugitives  from  the  neighbouring  coun- 
tries, and  were  received  by  the  Hungarians  on 
condition  of  defending  the  frontier  on  which  they 
lived  from  further  incursions. 

Before  the  first  battle  of  Mohacs,  we  hear  of 
some  attempts  having  been  made  to  form  these 
borderers  into  regiments  on  one  or  two  points  ;  as 
the  Turks  retired  and  left  the  frontiers  more 
free,  this  organization  was  extended  to  the  newly 
acquired  regions  ;  and,  when  at  last  the  whole  line 
fell  into  the  hands  of  Austria,  it  was  rendered  com- 
plete, and  reduced  to  a  regular  system.  The  last 
part  organized  was  the  Transylvanian  borders,  which 
did  not  take  place  till  1766.  The  system,  there- 
fore, is  one  which  has  grown  out  of  the  wants  of  the 

VOL.  II.  C 


times,  rather  than  been  created  by  an  inspiration  of 
genius ;  and  the  frequent  changes  which  have  taken 
place  in  the  laws  by  which  it  is  regulated  show  that 
experience  only  has  brought  it  to  its  present  state 
of  efficiency. 

The  object  has  been  to  maintain  at  the  least  pos- 
sible cost  a  border  guard  along  the  whole  Turkish 
frontier  of  Hungary,  which  in  peace  might  be  em- 
ployed for  the  purposes  of  quarantine  and  customs, 
and  in  war  serve  as  a  portion  of  the  standing  army. 
This  has  been  effected  so  perfectly,  that  in  peace 
nearly  forty  thousand  men  do  duty  along  an  extent 
of  eight  hundred  miles  of  frontier ;  and  they  not 
only  feed  and  clothe  themselves,  but  pay  heavy 
taxes  in  money  besides,  and  perform  also  a  consi- 
derable quantity  of  labour  without  pay.  In  time  of 
war  this  guard  can  furnish,  on  an  emergency,  two 
hundred  thousand  men  in  arms. 

The  land  acquired  by  Government,  by  purchase 
or  exchange,  along  the  whole  of  this  district,  has 
been  divided  among  the  inhabitants,  and  is  held  as 
fiefs  on  the  tenure  of  military  and  civil  service.  A 
portion  of  land  comprising  from  thirty-six  to  fifty 
acres  constitutes  an  entire  fief,  the  half  or  quarter 
constituting  half  and  quarter  fiefs.  Each  of  these 
is  bound  to  furnish,  and  to  maintain  and  clothe, 
according  to  its  size,  one  or  more  men-at-arms. 
In  order  to  carry  out  this  plan,  the  fiefs  are  given  to 
families  composed  of  several  members,  of  which  the 
eldest  is  the  House-father,  and  the  younger  are  the 


men-at-arms.     The  Home-father,  and  his  wife,  the 
House-mother,  have  the   direction  of  the  farm,  the 
care  of  the  house,   the   duty  of  providing    for  the 
necessities  of  the  whole  family,  and    the  right  to 
control  them  and  to  watch  over  their  industry  and 
morals.     On  the  other  hand,  the  rest  of  the  men  of 
the  family  must  be  consulted  on  any  great  changes, 
as  purchases  and  sales  ;   and  at  the  end  of  the  year 
they  may  demand  an  account   of  the  expenditure 
from  the  House-father.    No  man  who  has  been  pun- 
ished for  a  crime  can  be  a  House-father ;  and,  if  he 
be  habitually  drunken  or  immoral,  he  loses  the  right 
which  age  would  otherwise  have  given  him.     The 
family  owe  him  obedience    and  respect.     The   fief 
itself,  and  the  implements  and  cattle  necessary  for 
its  cultivation,  cannot  be  sold,  and  every  member  of 
the  family  has  a  right  in  them.     A  portion  of  land, 
called   Uberland, — land  over  and  above    the  quan- 
tity required  for  the  fiefs,— and  any  excess  of  cattle 
or  production,  may  be   sold  with  the  consent  of  a 
superior  officer.     All  the    members  of  the  family 
are  allowed   to   marry,  and  marriage  is  even  held 
out    to    them    as    an  honourable   duty.      When  a 
family  becomes  rich  or  too  large,  its  members  are 
allowed    to    divide,    and   the   party   separating   re- 
ceives another  fief,  either  by  grant  or  purchase  of 
Uberland,  within  the  frontier  district,  which    then 
becomes    a   feudal   fief.     Such    as   leave   the   fron- 
tier service  have  no  right  in  the  property  of  the 



The  land  is  cultivated  for  the  common  good  of 
all  the  members  of  a  family ;  and  the  profit,  if  any 
remains  after  the  taxes  and  other  expenses  are 
defrayed,  is  divided  among  them.  No  individual  is 
allowed  to  keep  cattle,  or  to  work  for  his  own  ex- 
clusive profit,  —  at  least,  without  permission  of  the 
rest.  In  most  cases,  a  whole  family,  consisting  of 
many  married  couples,  with  their  children,  some- 
times to  the  number  of  fifty  individuals,  live  under 
the  same  roof,  cultivate  the  same  land,  eat  at  the 
same  table,  and  obey  the  same  father. 

The  military  duty  in  time  of  peace  consists  in 
watching  the  frontiers.  For  this  purpose  the  man- 
at-arms  repairs  to  the  station  for  seven  days  at  a 
time,  where  the  family  provide  him  with  food.  Be- 
sides this,  he  has  the  duty  of  transporting  letters, 
as  well  as  the  money  and  baggage  of  the  regiment, 
and  of  performing  exercise.  For  the  manual  exer- 
cise, four  days  a  month  is  required,  from  October  to 
March.  In  spring  and  autumn  the  company  exer- 
cises together  for  a  week  ;  and,  at  longer  intervals, 
the  whole  regiment  encamps  out,  and  manoeuvres 

Every  family  is  divided  into  the  invalids,  half 
invalids,  enrolled,  and  youths.  Every  man  of  full 
age,  who  has  not  some  bodily  failing,  is  enrolled. 
For  the  ordinary  service  the  number  of  men  on 
duty  amounts  to  four  thousand  one  hundred  and 
seventy-nine.  In  times  of  disturbance  on  the 
Turkish  side,  or  when  the  plague  is  drawing  near, 


they  are  increased  to  six  thousand  seven  hundred 
and  ninety-eight,  and  in  times  of  still  greater  dan- 
ger to  ten  thousand  and  sixteen  men. 

In  time  of  war  the  borderer  must  form  a  part  of 
the  regular  army,  and  march  out  of  the  country  if 
required.  The  regular  disposable  force  amounts  to 
thirty-four  thousand  eight  hundred  and  twenty- 
seven  ;  but,  if  the  reserve  and  Landwehr  are  called 
out,  to  one  hundred  thousand.  If  driven  to  the 
last  extremity,  they  can  muster  to  the  amount 
of  two  hundred  thousand  men.*  By  means  of 
alarm-fires  and  bells,  this  immense  force  can  be 
summoned  together  through  the  whole  extent  of 
the  frontier  in  the  space  of  four  hours. 

The  borderers  are  divided  into  seven  regiments 
according  to  the  district  they  occupy, — six  infan- 
try, and  one  hussar.  Besides  these,  there  is  a  divi- 
sion of  Tschaikisten,  so  called  from  the  wooden  boxes 
set  on  piles,  and  furnished  with  open  galleries  round 
them,  in  which  they  keep  guard  along  the  morasses 
of  the  Save  and  Danube,  and  who  do  the  duty  of 
pontonniers.  Like  the  peasant  the  border  family 
has  to  do  civil  service  —  one  day  per  annum  for 
every  English  acre  —  for  the  state ;  as  in  the  repair 
of  post-roads  and  bridges,  draining  of  swamps,  re- 
gulating rivers,  repairing  public  buildings,  &c. :  and 
eight  days  per  annum  for  the  village ;  as  in  build- 
ing churches  and  school-houses,  keeping  the  village 

*  These  numbers  are  taken  from  Csaplovic's  Gemalde  von 


roads  in   order,   cutting  wood   for  the   school,  and 
working  the  farms  of  widows  and  orphans. 

The  borderer's  chief  tax,  besides  the  furnishing 
the  uniform  for  a  man-at-arms, — the  shoes,  arms, 
and  leather- work  are  given  by  Government,  as  well 
as  twelve  shillings  a-year  in  aid  of  the  rest,  —  is 
the  land-tax,  amounting,  for  an  entire  fief,  to  from 
fifteen  to  thirty  shillings  per  annum.  Tradesmen, 
artisans,  and  Jewrs,  pay  according  to  their  property  ; 
from  eight  shillings  to  four  pounds  a-year. 

The  border  officers  have  many  duties  peculiar  to 
the  position  of  feudal  superiors,  which  they  occupy. 
They  give  consent  to  marriages,  their  permission  is 
necessary  to  the  sale  and  transfer  of  property,  real 
or  personal,  and,  at  times,  they  act  as  judges  and 
ministers  of  police.  From  the  mixed  nature  of  the 
borderers'  duty,  different  descriptions  of  officers  are 
required,  and  we  accordingly  find  officers  of  eco- 
nomy, to  direct  the  farming  processes,  architects, 
surveyors,  &c.  for  the  care  of  public  property,  but 
the  most  extraordinary  officers,  for  a  military  estab- 
lishment, are  the  regularly  educated  regimental 
midwives,  and,  under  them,  the  company's  and 
squadron's  midwives ! 

Many  laws  of  the  borderers  are  framed  in  a  spirit 
of  paternal  kindness ;  among  others  those  for  the 
encouragement  of  industry,  the  inducing  to  the  ac- 
cumulation of  wealth,  and  the  preservation  of  order 
and  agreement  in  families,  besides  institutions  for 
the  maintenance  of  the  widows  and  orphans,  and 


for  the  education  and  improvement  of  the  people. 
Benigni  states,  that  of  the  children  between  seven 
and  twelve  years  old  on  the  Transylvanian  fron- 
tiers, seven  thousand  eight  hundred  and  six  out  of 
nine  thousand  and  seventy-seven  boys,  and  three 
thousand  four  hundred  and  forty-four  out  of  seven 
thousand  one  hundred  and  three  girls,  were  pro- 
vided with  the  elements  of  education  in  the  border 
schools.  In  Hungary  the  proportion  is  still  higher ; 
probably  nine-tenths  of  the  whole  can  read  and 
write  in  one  or  two  languages. 

The  administration  of  justice  seems  to  be  yet 
more  favourably  organized.  The  first  tribunal  in 
civil  cases  is  formed  by  a  lieutenant  of  economy,  a 
sergeant-major  of  economy,  two  sergeants  and  two 
corporals  of  economy,  and  two  house-fathers  chosen 
by  the  colonel.  Their  judgment  must  be  confirmed 
by  the  captain.  In  criminal  cases  the  court  martial, 
composed,  however,  of  officers,  non-commissioned 
officers,  and  soldiers,  decides. 

It  is  impossible  to  study  this  institution,  and  not 
be  struck  with  its  power  and  utility,  and  with  the 
wisdom  and  philanthropy  with  which  many  of  its 
regulations  are  conceived  ;  and  to  a  military  man, 
whose  idea  of  the  value  of  a  country  is  in  pro- 
portion to  the  amount  of  applicable  force  that  can 
be  drawn  from  it  and  maintained  by  it,  it  must 
appear  perfect.  But  it  would  be  unfair  did  we  not 
point  out  some  of  the  objections  which  the  Hun- 
garians themselves  urge  against  it. 


We  have  seen  that  an  immense  military  force 
has  been  thrown  round  one-half  the  circumference 
of  Hungary :  —  in  what  hands  does  the  command 
of  this  force  lie?  from  what  sources  does  it  draw 
its  supplies?  what  sympathies  and  feelings  are 
encouraged  in  it  ?  —  in  other  words,  what  is  its 
nationality?  In  a  constitutional  country  these  are 
important  inquiries. 

Every  regiment  receives  its  orders  directly  through 
its  colonel,  he  again  from  a  general  of  brigade,  and 
he  from  the  commander  of  the  district,  who  is 
under  the  Hofkriegsrath  (the  council  of  war)  in 
Vienna.  We  have  seen  that  the  borderers  draw 
their  resources  entirely  from  their  own  labour, — for 
the  taxes  they  pay  would  more  than  refund  the 
cost  of  their  arms;  and  for  their  nationality,  it  is 
enough  to  say  that  German  is  taught  exclusively  in 
their  schools,  German  used  exclusively  as  the  lan- 
guage of  the  service,  that  a  great  number  of  the 
officers  are  Germans,  and  that  the  laws  to  be  referred 
to,  in  case  the  particular  laws  of  the  border  do  not 
provide  for  any  difficulty,  are  the  laws  of  the 
German  provinces,  to  prove  that  Austrian,  not 
Hungarian,  feelings  and  sympathies  are  encouraged 
in  the  borderers  of  Hungary.  The  Hungarian  Diet 
has  the  right  to  vote  the  levy  of  troops,  and  the 
supplies  for  their  support,  or  to  refuse  them  in  case 
of  need ;  but  here  is  a  force,  over  the  levying  and 
supply  of  which  they  have  no  control.  We  cannot 
be  astonished  that  this  should  form  one  of  the 


gravamina  of  the  Diet,  and  that  it  should  strongly 
claim  a  right  to  the  superintendence  of  the  border 

There  are  some,  too,  who  urge  that  this  border 
wall  is  more  efficacious  and  better  constructed  for 
keeping  Hungarians  within  their  boundaries,  than 
Turks  and  plague  without  them,  and  there  are  not 
wanting  those  even  who  regard  the  whole  quarantine 
system  as  a  great  engine  of  police.  In  favour  of 
this  view  of  the  matter  they  urge  that  the  cordon 
has  been  more  frequently  strengthened  on  the 
appearance  of  what  Government  is  apt  to  consider 
most  pestilential,  —  a  political  fever  within  the 
country,  than  of  a  plague  invasion  from  without ; 
that  personal  intercourse  is  impeded,  that  an  in- 
quisitorial search  is  authorised,  and  that  even  private 
letters  and  despatches  are  opened  and  examined, 
though  it  is  well  known  that  smugglers  pass  the 
frontiers  at  every  hour  of  the  day.  The  best  answer 
to  these  objections,  and  one  very  difficult  to  con- 
trovert, is  the  simple  fact  that  the  plague  has  never 
entered  Hungary  since  the  border  organization  has 
been  completed,  where  previously,  ever  since  the 
first  irruption  of  the  Turks  across  the  Danube, 
scarcely  twenty  years  elapsed  without  its  recurrence, 
although  it  has  been  as  frequent  and  violent  as  ever 
in  the  neighbouring  countries. 

Considerable  cruelty  has  been  urged  against  the 
introducers  of  the  border  system  in  some  parts  of  the 
country,  and  particularly  in  Transylvania.  It  has 


been  told  me  that  the  Szeklers,  who,  according  to 
their  old  constitution,  were  not  bound  to  serve  out 
of  the  country,  when  ordered  to  march  thought 
themselves  justified  in  refusing,  and  were  only 
compelled  to  submit  after  a  frightful  massacre,  in 
which,  in  many  villages,  every  tenth  man,  woman, 
and  child,  indifferently,  was  shot  by  the  Imperial 
troops.  Of  the  actual  state  of  the  borders,  material 
or  moral,  as  compared  with  that  of  the  rest  of 
Hungary,  I  can  say  but  little  from  personal  ob- 
servation ;  from  what  I  did  see  I  certainly  should 
not  have  adjudged  them  a  higher  material  civiliza- 
tion, and  I  do  not  believe  that  military  organization 
is  adapted  to  produce  great  moral  advancement. 
From  some  of  those  who  live  in  their  neighbourhood, 
I  have  heard  the  borderers  spoken  of  as  poorer  and 
more  miserable  than  the  common  peasants,  and  in 
the  Croatian  district  one  of  their  own  officers  de- 
clared them  to  be  most  notorious  thieves.  In 
active  service  I  believe  they  have  proved  themselves, 
both  for  discipline  and  courage,  on  an  equality  with 
the  best  regular  troops. 

A  few  miles  below  Belgrade,  another  fine  river, 
the  Temes,  which,  though  smaller  than  those  we 
have  lately  passed,  is  still  navigable,  pours  its  water 
into  the  Danube.  The  Temes  runs,  for  the  most 
part,  through  a  flat  country,  and  its  course  is  con- 
sequently tortuous  and  sluggish,  but  it  has  been 
improved  by  the  Bega  canal,  which  traverses  a  con- 
siderable part  of  the  rich  Banat,  and  joins  the  Temes, 

SERVIA.  27 

near  Temesvar.  This  is  the  fourth  navigable  river, 
the  mouth  of  which  we  have  passed  within  a  space 
of  fifty  miles.  Surely  never  was  any  country  so 
blessed  by  nature  with  the  means  of  communication 
as  Hungary, — never  have  they  been  more  signally 

The  hills  on  the  Servian  side  now  became  ex- 
ceedingly J3retty.  They  are  not  generally  high,  but 
nothing  can  be  imagined  more  perfectly  wild  and 
picturesque.  They  are  covered,  down  to  the  very 
water's  edge,  with  a  low  natural  wood.  Here  and 
there  are  a  few  houses,  or  rather  huts,  with  vine- 
yards, and  Indian  corn,  and  occasionally,  perhaps, 
something  which  may  be  called  a  village,  and  has  a 
name,  but  this  is  rare.  All  these  hills  are  capable 
of  cultivation,  but  insecurity,  want  of  population, 
and  want  of  capital,  keep  them  wild.  The  state 
of  Servia,  at  the  present  moment,  is  essentially 
one  of  transition,  and  that  too  with  all  its  worst 
features.  For  many  years  subject  to  the  Turkish 
yoke,  and  suffering  more  than  most  other  parts  of 
the  empire,  because  frequently  the  scene  of  contests 
— the  first  loss  after  a  defeat,  the  first  prize  of  a 
victory, — its  population  has  become  so  diminished 
by  oppression  and  emigration,  that  its  whole  surface 
is,  at  the  present  day,  little  more  than  one  vast 
forest,  and  its  population  a  collection  of  swine- 

The  long-conceived  designs  of  Russia  against  the 
integrity,  and  ultimate  existence  of  the  Turkish 


empire,  are  now  no  secret.  The  successive  risings 
in  Wallachia,  Servia,  and  Greece,  testify  how  cun- 
ningly and  effectually  her  plans  succeeded.  Such 
instruments  as  Cserny  (black)  George,  were  not 
difficult  to  find  among  a  people  like  the  Servians, 
and  in  a  country  of  woods  and  mountains,  a  revo- 
lution was  no  very  difficult  matter  to  maintain, 
especially  when  excited  by  a  priesthood,  whom  a 
similarity  of  language  and  religion  readily  disposed 
in  favour  of  Russia.  These  plans  have  been  car- 
ried out  almost  without  opposition.  The  sympathy 
of  Europe  requires  only  the  watch-words  of  Chris- 
tianity and  liberty,  which  none  have  used  more 
liberally  than  the  crime-stained  and  tyrannical,  to 
become  engaged  in  any  cause;  domestic  troubles 
adroitly  taken  advantage  of,  colonial  disaffection 
secretly  abetted,  and  an  aristocratic  diplomacy,  which, 
if  too  proud  to  be  bribed,  is  too  ignorant  and  too 
indifferent  to  be  efficient,  has  done  the  rest.  The 
result  we  have  before  us  in  the  separation  of  these 
countries  from  the  Ottoman  empire,  and  their  almost 
total  dependence  on  Russia. 

But  the  calculations  of  the  wisest  sometimes 
come  to  nought.  It  was  easy  to  excite  the  hatred 
of  the  Wallachians  against  Turkey,  but  it  was  not 
so  easy  to  make  them  love  the  Russians :  it  was  easy 
to  find  a  native  prince  of  strong  natural  powers 
capable  of  leading  the  Servians,  but  it  was  hard  to 
make  such  a  prince  relish  the  leading-strings  him- 
self. Belgrade  has  been  for  some  years  a  great 


centre  of  Russian  intrigue.  Sometimes  the  Servian 
population  has  been  excited  against  its  prince, 
sometimes  the  prince  forced  into  opposition  to  the 
Porte.  Now  an  emissary  has  been  despatched 
among  the  Sclavish  populations  of  Croatia  and 
Bosnia,  now  among  the  Greek  religionists  of  the 
Banat  of  Hungary,  and  for  such  enterprises  Bel- 
grade was  the  starting  point.  In  the  mean  time, 
Austria,  England,  and  France  have  looked  on — the 
former  with  fear  and  trembling — the  two  latter 
with  stupid  indifference.*  If  report  may  be  be- 
lieved, however,  Prince  Milosch,  a  man  of  much 
energy  and  talent,  is  exerting  himself  to  improve 
and  civilize  his  country ;  and  though  forced  in 
appearance  to  bow  to  a  power  he  is  too  weak  to 
oppose,  he  does  not  find  his  chain  the  less  galling, 
nor  will  he  be  the  less  anxious  to  get  rid  of  it  on 
the  first  good  occasion.f 

*  Since  our  visit,  Austria  has  sent  a  very  able  representative 
to  Belgrade,  in  the  person  of  M.  Milanovitch ;  and  still  later, 
England,  Colonel  Hodges. 

f  Since  this  was  written,  what  is  called  a  constitution  has 
been  given  to  Servia,  chiefly  through  the  influence  of  Eussia.  in 
whose  hands  the  nomination  of  the  chief  members  rests.  Milosch 
has  resisted,  been  deposed,  driven  from  the  country,  and  his  son 
placed  in  his  stead.  It  is  exceedingly  difficult  to  arrive  at  any- 
thing like  the  truth  on  such  matters,  from  the  known  subser- 
viency of  the  German  papers  to  Russia  ;  but  it  looks  very  much 
as  if  Russia  was  playing  her  old  game  of  disorganizing  and 
ruining,  that  she  herself  may  in  time  be  called  in  to  settle,  and 
reconstitute — take  possession,  if  she  will — in  any  manner  that 
seems  to  her  best. 


Three  hours'  pleasant  sailing  along  these  beau- 
tiful frontiers,  brought  us  opposite  the  fortress  of 
Semendria,  another  painful  monument  of  Turkey's 
former  greatness,  and  Turkey's  present  weakness. 
Semendria  is  singularly  built.  A  perfectly  flat 
position  has  been  chosen,  watered  on  one  side  by 
the  Danube,  and  on  another  by  a  small  river,  the 
Jesoba,  and  on  the  neck  of  land,  between  these, 
a  triangular  wall  of  great  height  has  been  erected, 
strengthened  at  intervals  by  thirteen  towers  of 
various  forms.  Semendria  was  formerly  the  seat  of 
a  Pasha,  and  it  often  figures  in  Hungarian  history 
as  an  important  post  in  the  Border  wars.  Under 
Alibeg  Pasha,  it  became  a  name  of  terror  to  the 
whole  country. 

It  was  at  the  siege  of  Semendria,  in  1513,  that 
George  Dosa,  a  name  afterwards  so  celebrated  in 
Hungarian  history,  first  distinguished  himself  by 
cutting  off  the  hand  of  a  Turkish  officer,  and 
taking  him  prisoner.  The  king  presented  him 
with  a  golden  chain  and  silver  spurs  as  guerdon 
for  the  knightly  deed.  Poor  Dosa's  fate  was  so 
characteristic  of  the  age,  and  at  the  same  time  so 
poetically  cruel,  that  we  cannot  pass  it  over. 

It  was  in  the  beginning  of  the  sixteenth  cen- 
tury, that  Archbishop  Bakats,  like  a  second  Peter 
the  hermit,  returned  from  Rome,  armed  with  a 
papal  bull,  and  tried  to  set  all  Hungary  in  a 
blaze  with  his  preachings  for  a  new  crusade. 
Constantly  as  Hungary  had  been  engaged  in  hos- 


tilities  with  the  Moslems  since  they  had  gained 
Constantinople,  these  never  seem  to  have  partaken 
so  much  of  the  character  of  religious  wars,  as  of 
wars  of  conquest  and  defence;  and,  on  the  present 
occasion,  the  call  of  Bakats  seems  to  have  been 
almost  unheeded  by  the  nobles.  Among  the  igno- 
rant and  discontented  peasantry,  however,  to  whom 
the  desire  of  escape  from  servitude,  and  the  anti- 
cipation of  plunder  may  have  been  as  strong  in- 
ducements as  the  hope  of  salvation,  his  success  was 
greater,  and  in  a  short  time  forty  thousand  of  them 
flocked  under  his  banner  to  the  Rakos  plain  in  the 
neighbourhood  of  Pest. 

A  suspicion  has  been  entertained  that  the  motive 
for  Bakats'  zeal  was  not  quite  so  much  ecclesias- 
tical,— Christian  I  cannot  call  it,  —  as  personal 
aggrandizement.  His  excessively  ambitious  cha- 
racter, the  opposition  which  he  had  met  with  from 
some  of  the  higher  nobles,  the  school  in  which  he 
had  been  brought  up — he  was  secretary  to  Mathias 
Corvinus, — the  exciting  harangues  of  some  of  the 
clergy,  and  above  all,  the  choice  of  George  Dosa,  a 
common  Szekler  soldier,  to  head  this  vast  multitude, 
gives  strong  ground  for  the  suspicion.  Be  that  as 
it  may,  no  sooner  did  Dosa  receive  orders  to  march 
his  forces  against  the  Turks,  than  he  at  once  de- 
clared war  against  the  nobles ;  and  the  peasantry, 
predisposed  by  the  oppression  they  had  suffered 
since  the  death  of  Mathias,  and  encouraged  by  the 
miserable  weakness  of  his  successor,  having  now 

32  DOSA'S   DEATH. 

thrown  off  all  restraint,  and  excited  by  the  pro- 
mises of  their  leaders,  were  ready  enough  to  seize 
an  opportunity  of  revenging  their  wrongs,  and 
achieving  their  liberty. 

Dosa  maintained  the  field  against  the  Hungarian 
nobles  for  nearly  six  months,  during  which  four 
hundred  of  their  order  fell  a  sacrifice  to  popular 
vengeance,  till  at  last  Zapolya  attacked  him  whilst 
besieging  Temesvar,  took  him  prisoner,  and  com- 
pletely destroyed  his  army. 

If  the  peasants  had  been  guilty  of  cruel  excesses, 
the  death  of  Dosa  most  amply  atoned  for  them. 
Not  content  with  the  slaughter  of  seventy  thousand 
peasants,  many  of  them  women  and  children,  it 
was  determined  to  execute  their  leader  in  a  manner 
which  should  strike  terror  into  all  future  genera- 
tions of  peasants,  and  the  inventive  cruelty  of  a 
cruel  age  was  taxed  for  its  worst  tortures. 

Dosa  was  seated  on  a  throne  of  red-hot  iron,  a 
red-hot  crown  was  placed  upon  his  head,  and  a 
red-hot  sceptre  in  his  hand.  Forty  of  his  followers 
had  been  confined  without  food  for  a  fortnight ;  nine 
of  them  still  survived  the  starvation,  when  they 
were  brought  before  their  tortured  leader  and  com- 
manded to  feed  on  him  yet  living.  Those  who 
hesitated  were  cut  down,  while  the  rest  tore  the 
flesh  from  his  bones  and  devoured  it  greedily.  "  To 
it,  hounds,  ye  are  of  my  own  training!"  was  the 
only  remark  which  escaped  the  lips  of  the  suffering 

THE   DANUBE.  33 

It  was  just  sunset  as  we  left  Semendria,  and 
the  broad  streaks  of  red  light  which  fell  upon 
the  water,  with  the  deep  shadows  thrown  by  the 
old  towers,  gave  an  air  of  solemn  beauty  to  the 

As  we  advanced  beyond  this  point,  the  river  grew 
wider  and  wider,  while  the  banks  seemed  covered 
with  impenetrable  forests  and  morasses.  The  soli- 
tude and  grandeur  of  this  vast  wilderness  was  ex- 
ceedingly imposing.  As  I  stood  almost  alone  upon 
the  deck  towards  evening,  I  could  have  fancied  my- 
self in  a  new  land,  an  unexplored  region.  I  have 
never  seen  the  Mississippi,  but  I  do  not  think  that, 
even  in  the  fastnesses  of  America,  the  impression  of 
a  new  and  untrodden  land  could  be  more  complete 
than  here.  On  either  side  of  us  were  thick  forests, 
so  thick  that  the  eye  searched  in  vain  for  some 
indication  that  they  had  ever  been  visited.  The 
flocks  of  wild  fowl,  which  covered  the  water,  allowed 
us  to  pass  near  them,  apparently  without  suspicion 
of  danger ;  but  no  sooner  did  the  eagle  appear  in 
sight,  than  they  dived  away  and  hid  themselves 
from  his  searching  glance.  Everything  seemed  to 
say  that  man  was  a  stranger  there. 

It  was  just  beyond  the  island  of  Osztrova,  that 
we  dropped  our  anchor  in  the  middle  of  the  stream, 
— two  miles  in  width  here — let  off  our  steam,  and 
made  up  for  the  night. 

I  and  Mr.  H n  walked  the  deck  till  deep  in 

the  night,  discussing  the  various  fates  which  time 

VOL,  II.  D 


might  have  in  store  for  the  nations  of  the  Danube. 
The   ambitious  projects    of  Russia,  just   then  dis- 
f  closed  by  the  energy  and  talent  of  Mr.  Urquhart, 
)  had  opened  to  us  the  danger  which  Hungary,  as  well 
^  as  Wallachia,  Servia,  and  the  whole  of  Turkey  ran, 
i  if  those  projects  were  not  ^peedilychecked.     We 
/knew that  the  cabinet  of  Austria,  at  first  strongly 
/  inimical  to  Russia,  had  been  so  frightened  from  her 
propriety  by  reform  in  England,  and  revolution  in 
France, — a  revolution  in  which  she  can  still  see  no 
difference  from  that  of  eighty-nine, — that  she   had 
thrown  herself  into  the  arms  of  her  betrayer  with- 
out the  decency  of  reserve,  without  the  prudence  of 
a  contract.     At  the  same  moment  we  saw  this  same 
Russia  attempting  to  increase  her  influence  among 
L  the  Sclavish  populations  of  Hungary  by  the  plea  of 
/identity  of  origin  and  interest,  and   to  undermine 
the  fidelity  of  the  adherence  to  the  Greek  church 
by  the  claim  of  supremacy,   and  the  corruption  of 
an   ignorant   priesthood.      We   saw   how,  step   by 
step,  Russia  had  approached  the  frontier  of  Hun- 
gary on  the  north ;  how  she  had  then  crept  round 
the  east  and^  south  ;  how,  during  all  this  time,  she 
had  played  with  the  absurd  fear  of  Austria  on  the 
subject  of  liberalism,   and   how  in  the   end,  these 
absurd  fears  had  led  that  power  to  suffer  her  am- 
bitious neighbour  to  bind  one  by  one  herjimbsjn 
chains,  and  finally  to  threaten  her  with  suffocation 
should  she  dare  to  stir,  by  closing  her  mouth — the 


^-— _.__ —-^ 

At  the  same  time  we  saw  the  frontier  fortresses 
of  Turkey  occupied  by  Russian  troops  ; — we  saw 
Wallachia^ Moldavia,  and  Seryia,  under  the  name 
of  independence,  subjected  to  the  most  galling 
vassalage,  with  Russia  for  a  Suzerain ; — we  saw 
the  Turks  themselves  dispirited  and  cowed  by  their 
late  defeats,  and  by  the  desertion  of  their  former 
friends  ; — we  saw  their  ministers,  the  paid  hirelings 
of  the  enemy  of  their  country,  obeying  only  his 
commands ; — we  saw  their  Sultan  alienating  the 
hearts  of  the  most  faithful,  by  well-meant  but  ill- 
judged  reforms ;  above  all,  we  saw  Europe  still 
careless  of  the  fate  of  one  of  the  greatest  empires 
of  the  world,  and  we  trembled  lest  she  should 
awake  but  too  late  to  ward  off  the  catastrophe 
which  hung  over  her.  One  consolation  alone  re- 
mained ;  we  knew  that  if  she  did  awake,  the 
progress  of  Russia  was  stopped ;  we  knew  that 
her  gigantic  power  would  crumble  away,  and  no- 
thing remain,  but  the  hatred  of  the  world  for  the 
falsehood,  injustice,  and  cruelty,  by  which  it  had 
been  raised. 



Babakay. — The  Vultures. — Golumbatz. — St.  George's  Cavern. — 
The  Rapids. — First  Roman  Inscription. — Kazan. — New  Road. 
— Sterbeczu  Almare. — Trajan's  Tablet. — Via  Trajana. — Orsova. 
— New  Orsova. — The  Crusaders. — Visit  to  the  Pasha. — The 
Quarantine. — The  Iron  Gates. — Trajan's  Bridge — its  History 
and  Construction. — Valley  of  the  Cserna. — Turkish  Aqueduct. 
— Mehadia — its  Baths  and  Bathers. 

IT  was  about  eight  in  the  morning,  when  the 
good  ship  Zriny,  after  bearing  us  some  twenty  miles, 
while  yet  snug  in  our  berths,  dropped  her  anchor 
and  finished  her  voyage  opposite  the  little  town  of 
Moldova.  Preparations  were  quickly  made  for  our 


re-embarkation,  and  before  the  luggage  was  well 
discharged,  the  passengers  of  the  quarter-deck  were 
comfortably  stowed  away  in  a  private  boat  of  Count 
Szechenyi's,  and  in  company  with  several  of  the 
gentlemen  employed  on  the  new  works,  off  we  set. 

The  boat  was  rowed  by  four  stout  peasants,  lately 
broken  in  to  the  oar,  and  steered  by  George  Dewer, 
who  has  been  employed  in  managing  the  diving- 
bell  here.  After  passing  the  island  of  Moldova,  we 
came  to  an  interesting  point  of  the  river,  marked  by 
the  Babakay  rock,  which  juts  out  into  the  middle 
of  the  stream.  Babakay  is  said  to  mean  "repent" 
in  Turkish,  and  to  have  been  applied  to  this  spot, 
because  a  jealous  old  Turk  brought  over  his  young 
bride,  wrhom  he  suspected  of  deceiving  him,  and 
placing  her  on  this  rock,  rowed  away,  answering 
to  her  cries  only,  "  Babakay  !  Babakay  !  " —  Repent ! 
Repent !  It  is  at  this  point  that  the  new  road,  of 
which  we  shall  speak  hereafter,  commences.  On 
the  Hungarian  shore  the  workmen  were  crowding 
the  hill  side,  blasting  the  rocks,  wheeling  soil,  ham- 
mering, digging,  breaking,  —  in  short,  busy  in  all 
the  operations  incidental  to  mountain  road  making. 
On  the  Babakay  itself  sat  three  vultures,  solemnly 
looking  on  at  these  unaccustomed  sights,  while  on 
the  Servian  side  nothing  was  to  be  seen,  save  the 
picturesque  towers  of  the  Golumbatz  as  they 
crumbled  away  into  the  Danube  below. 

One  of  the  vultures,  as  we  drew  near,  raised 
itself  from  its  rocky  perch,  and  sailed  into  the  air 


with  great  majesty.  A  shot  from  one  of  our  party 
brought  him  down  to  the  water,  while  another 
secured  one  of  his  companions  before  he  had  time 
to  raise  himself  and  take  flight.  The  larger  of 
them  measured  nine  feet  across  the  wings. 

Golumbatz, — a  corruption  of  columba,  the  castle 
of  the  dove,  —  is  said  to  have  been  the  prison  of 
the  Greek  Empress  Helena,  and  was  a  point  often 
strongly  contested  in  the  earlier  periods  of  Hunga- 
rian history.  In  1428,  it  was  besieged  by  King 
Sigismund,  who  lost  the  greater  part  of  his  army  in 
the  attempt,  and  who  with  difficulty  escaped  with  his 
own  life.  It  was  afterwards  taken  from  the  Turks 
by  Corvinus,  and  held  by  the  Hungarians,  together 
with  other  fortresses  in  Servia,  for  some  time. 

The  river,  which  had  been  hitherto  wide  and  open, 
was  now  inclosed  by  high  rocks  in  a  narrow  bed 
only  two  hundred  and  forty  yards  in  width.  From 
this  point  the  most  beautiful  portion  of  the  scenery 
of  the  Danube  commences ;  and,  however  inade- 
quately I  may  describe  it,  I  can  assure  the  reader 
that  I  know  of  no  river  scenery  in  Europe  to  be 
compared  with  it.  The  Rhine  is  pretty  and  highly 
cultivated ;  the  Danube  is  wild  and  awfully  grand. 
It  would  be  little  interesting  were  1  to  repeat  the 
exclamations  of  wonder  and  admiration  which  burst 
from  us  during  this  journey  of  about  fifty  English 
miles :  the  whole  route  is  one  succession  of  beauties. 
The  general  character  of  the  scenery  is  that  of  rocks 
and  woods,  sometimes  rising  precipitously  from  the 

THE   RAPIDS.  39 

banks  of  the  river,  sometimes  sloping  gradually 
away;  while  the  mighty  mass  of  water  now  flows 
calmly  on  its  course,  and  now  rushes  in  a  cataract 
over  the  rocks  it  scarcely  covers.  I  must  content 
myself  with  noticing  a  few  of  the  most  interesting 
points.  Soon  after  passing  Babakay,  the  boatman 
pointed  out  to  us  a  cavern  half-way  up  the  moun- 
tain on  the  Hungarian  shore,  as  the  identical  cave 
of  the  Dragon  slain  by  St.  George,  and  where,  they 
say,  the  foul  carcass  still  decays,  and,  like  Virgil's 
ox,  gives  birth  to  a  host  of  winged  things.  What 
is  certain  is,  that  from  this  direction,  and  it  is 
strictly  maintained  from  this  very  cave,  proceeds  the 
Golumbatzer  Mucken>  a  peculiar  kind  of  musquito, 
which  often  invades  the  Banat  in  swarms,  to  the 
great  injury  of  the  flocks  and  herds.  They  attack 
chiefly  the  eyes,  nose,  and  ears,  and  produce  such 
pain  as  to  drive  the  animals  nearly  mad,  and 
death  usually  follows. 

Stenka  was  the  first  of  the  rapids  we  passed,  and 
though  in  the  then  state  of  the  water,  it  was 
impracticable  for  our  steam-boat,  it  is  not  so  in 
general,  and  indeed,  while  I  now  write,  the  place 
of  debarkation  is  changed  from  Moldova  to  Dren- 
kova,  a  small  village  a  little  below  the  fall.  At 
Drenkova  are  some  remains  of  a  Roman  fort,  pro- 
bably one  of  a  series  of  strong  places  built  by 
Claudius  to  protect  the  river  boundaries  of  the 
Roman  conquests.  The  second  rapids  are  those  of 
Kozla  Mare,  situated  in  the  midst  of  such  beautiful 


scenery,  that  it  is  probable  the  traveller  has  passed 
over  them  while  his  attention  has  been  occupied  by 
the  surrounding  objects.  Just  below  this  point,  on 
the  Servian  side,  may  be  observed  traces  of  the 
Roman  road,  of  which  we  shall  speak  later ;  and 
above  it,  is  a  plain  tablet,  bearing  this  mutilated 
inscription : — 



PONT  •  MAX  :  TR  •  POT  •  XXXV 

LEG  •  IIII  SCYTH  •  ET  •  V  •  MACEDO. 

It  is  near  this  point  that  the  most  considerable 
falls  in  this  part  of  the  Danube  begin.  They  are 
formed  by  a  succession  of  three  rapids,  the  Izlas, 
the  Taktalia,  and  the  Greben ;  in  the  middle  of  the 
latter,  on  a  projecting  rock,  a  small  iron  cross 
marks  the  dangerous  pass.  The  navigation  has  been 
somewhat  facilitated  by  a  canal  cut  in  the  rocky 
bed  of  the  stream  by  means  of  blasting ;  but  much 
must  yet  be  done  before  steam-boats  can  pass  over 
it  at  all  seasons.  During  high-water,  both  the 
steam-boats  on  the  Lower  Danube  have  passed  these 
rapids.  The  shallowest  part  is  on  the  Greben, 
which  we  passed  with  seven  feet  of  water,  though 
it  has  been  known  with  only  two.  Below  the 
falls  the  river  becomes  suddenly  wide,  and  ex- 
tends itself  to  sixteen  hundred  yards.  We  met 
during  this  part  of  our  course  one  or  two  Turkish 
boats  slowly  toiling  up  against  the  stream.  A 
few  Servian  villages  are  scattered  here  and  there, 

THE  NEW   ROAD.  41 

and  give  life  to  the  scene.  One  founded  by  Prince 
Milosch,  and  named,  after  his  son,  Milanovacz,  ap- 
pears to  prosper,  and  shows  greater  symptoms  of 
comfort  than  anything  we  have  seen  on  that  side. 
At  Tricula  are  the  remains  of  three  towers,  to 
which  tradition  assigns  a  Roman  origin. 

A  long  reach  which  presents  a  beautiful  lake-like 
view,  brought  us  to  Kazan  (the  Kettle),  which,  as 
the  middle-point  between  Orsova  and  Moldova,  has 
been  made  the  residence  for  the  engineers  employed 
in  the  construction  of  the  new  road.  Here  we  left 
our  boat  and  visited  the  works  then  in  progress, 
now  happily  near  completion.  The  object  has  been 
to  form  a  good  carriage-road  between  Moldova  and 
Orsova,  in  order  that  vessels  may  be  able  to  tow  up 
against  the  stream,  and  that  passengers  and  goods 
may  be  conveyed  by  carriages  without  loss  of  time 
from  one  steam-boat  to  another.  In  several  parts 
of  this  track  the  rocks  come  close  down  to  the 
water's  edge,  so  that  it  was  found  necessary  to  form 
galleries  in  them,  a  work  of  great  labour  and  ex- 
pense. From  Babakay  to  Alibeg  there  is  six  thou- 
sand yards  of  artificial  road,  and  again  below 
Kazan  it  extends  twelve  thousand  yards.  When 
I  saw  it,  it  had  been  two  years  begun,  and  20,000/. 
expended.  Five  hundred  men  were  still  employed 
on  it. 

A  work  of  this  kind  would  be  great  in  any  coun- 
try ;  but  in  Hungary  it  may  be  looked  upon  as 
something  wonderful,  and  the  greatest  credit  is  due 


to  Count  Szechenyi,  who  has  had  the  entire  direc- 
tion of  the  works,  as  well  as  to  Mr.  Vasarhely  the 
engineer,  that  it  has  been  accomplished  so  speedily 
and  so  well.  Without  it  the  navigation  of  the  Da- 
nube was  closed ;  but  with  it,  in  addition  to  the 
works  contemplated  below,  there  is  no  impediment 
of  consequence  that  can  oppose  an  easy  and  direct 
communication  from  Ratisbon,  in  the  very  heart  of 
Europe,  to  the  Black  Sea.  Nay,  the  projected  rail- 
road between  the  Danube  and  the  Rhine  will  accom- 
plish the  union  of  those  two  rivers,  and  thus  the 
great  idea  of  Charlemagne  will  be  fulfilled  after  the 
lapse  of  so  many  centuries. 

As  we  walked  along  the  new  road,  our  attention 
was  directed  to  a  cave  about  one  hundred  yards 
above  the  Danube,  celebrated  in  the  history  of  the 
Turkish  wars.  It  appears  that  in  1692,  the  Aus- 
trian General  Veterani  sent  three  hundred  men  un- 
der the  command  of  Captain  D'Arnan  to  hold  this 
cavern  against  the  Turks,  whose  communications  on 
the  Danube  were  in  consequence  almost  cut  off,  for 
the  position  of  the  cave  gave  its  little  garrison  the 
complete  command  of  the  passage  of  the  river, 
which  is  exceedingly  narrow  here.  The  Pasha  of 
Belgrade,  roused  by  the  injury  this  handful  of  men 
inflicted  on  the  Turks,  sent  an  overwhelming  force 
against  them ;  but  their  position,  defended  with 
the  greatest  bravery,  was  proof  against  all  at- 
tacks, except,  alas  !  that  of  hunger,  which  obliged 
them  to  capitulate  after  a  siege  of  forty-five  days. 



Again  in  1788,  was  this  little  fortress  employed 
against  the  Moslems.  Major  Stein  held  it  for 
twenty-one  days,  with  a  still  smaller  number  of 
troops  than  before.  Some  remains  of  slight  out- 
works are  still  left  before  the  entrance  of  the  cave. 
The  interior  is  about  one  hundred  feet  long  by 
seventy  broad,  and  has  some  natural  divisions,  to 
which  tradition  still  attaches  names  and  destina- 
tions ;  as  the  officers1  quarters,  the  powder  maga- 
zine, and  the  provision  depot. 

On  the  opposite  side,  and  not  far  from  this 
cavern,  rises  a  majestic  cliff  two  thousand  one  hun- 
dred and  sixty  feet  in  height  from  the  water's  edge. 
This  is  the  Sterbeczu  Almare,  the  huge  bastion  of 



the  Danube,  a  glorious  monument  of  Nature's 
boldest  architecture.  After  passing  Rogach,  the 
narrowest  point  of  the  river,  where  it  is  only  one 
hundred  and  sixteen  yards  wide,  but  sixty  deep,  and 
just  opposite  the  little  village  of  Ogradina,  we  ar- 
rived at  the  great  Tablet  of  Trajan,  the  most  perfect 
historical  monument  at  present  existing  on  the  banks 
of  the  Danube.  We  returned  next  day  to  examine 
this  tablet  at  our  leisure ;  but  we  were  still  not  per- 
mitted to  get  up  to  it,  as  it  is  on  the  Servian  side, 
and  therefore  considered  in  Sporco.  It  is  cut  in 
the  solid  rock,  a  fine  hard  mountain  limestone,  and 
is  executed  with  much  elegance.  A  winged  genius 
on  each  side  supports  an  oblong  tablet  protected 

by  the  overhanging  rock,  which  has  been  carved 
into  a  rich  cornice,  surmounted  by"  a  Roman  eagle. 
At  either  end  is  a  dolphin.  The  inscription,  as  it 
has  been  made  out  by  the  engineers,  runs  thus — 

IMP  •  CAESAR  •  DIVI  •  NERVAE  •  F  • 
PONTIF  •  MAXIMVS  •  TRIE  •  P  •  0  •  XXX. 


I  must  confess  I  was  not  able  to  decipher  all 
these  letters ;  but,  as  it  is  eight  yards  from  the 
water,  and  obscured  by  the  smoke  which  the  fires 
of  the  Servian  fishermen,  who  often  rest  here  for 
the  night,  have  covered  it  with,  it  is  very  possible 
that  those  who  could  examine  it  nearer  might  fol- 
low the  traces  of  letters  which  have  escaped  less 
favoured  observers.*  The  work  which  this  tablet 
is  intended  to  immortalize,  was  no  other  than  the 
Via  Trajana,  as  it  is  called,  on  some  of  the  Roman 
coins  of  that  period,  and  of  which  the  traces  are 
frequently  visible  on  different  parts  of  the  rocks  be- 
tween Golumbatz  and  Orsova,  on  the  Servian  bank. 
For  the  most  part,  the  traces  of  the  road  now 
remaining  are  reduced  to  a  narrow  ledge,  varying 
from  two  to  six  feet  in  width,  cut  in  the  solid  rock, 
at  the  height  of  ten  feet  above  the  ordinary  water- 
mark, and  below  this  ledge,  at  regular  distances, 
and  in  four  distinct  elevations,  as  seen  in  the  ac- 
companying drawings,  are  holes  of  about  nine  inches 
square  and  eighteen  deep.  Where  the  rock  hangs 
perpendicularly  over  the  river,  the  ledge  and  the 
holes  may  be  traced  very  distinctly  for  a  consi- 
derable distance  without  intermission ;  at  other 
places  they  are  interrupted  by  a  sloping  bank, 

*  For  this,  as  well  as  for  the  plan  of  the  remains  of  Trajan's 
bridge,  I  am  indebted  to  a  friend  in  Hungary,  who  obtained 
for  me  copies  of  the  drawings  and  plans  prepared  with  great  care 
by  engineers  employed  in  the  survey  of  the  Danube.  This  in- 
scription has  never,  I  believe,  been  so  fully  made  out  by  any 
other  observers. 


where  an  artificial  road  was  no  longer  required  ; 
and  at  others,  where  a  slight  chasm  in  the  rocks 
made  it  impossible  to  continue  the  ledge,  a  bridge 
seems  to  have  been  thrown  across.  Every  one 
who  takes  the  trouble  to  examine  this  subject, 
must  conclude  that  these  holes  were,  beyond  quesT 
tion,  intended  to  receive  beams  constructed  so  as 
to  support  a  part  of  the  road  made  of  wood,  for 
the  ledge  cut  out  of  the  rock  was  not  wide  enough, 
in  many  parts,  even  to  admit  persons  on  root,  and 
certainly  not  horses.  Nor  can  we  suppose  that 

the  ledge  in  the  rock 
was  once  wider,  and 
that  it  has  been  worn 
away  by  time,  for  the 
tablets  remain  very 
perfect,  and  the  holes 
below  seem  as  fresh 
as  if  cut  yesterday.  It 
is,  then,  pretty  certain  that  the  Via  Trajana  was 
partly  only  cut  in  the  rock,  and  partly  supported 
on  wooden  beams.*  It  would  thus  answer  for  a 
towing  path  as  well  as  for  the  passage  of  troops  — 
the  two  great  objects  for  which  it  was  probably 
intended ;  and,  besides  costing  much  less  labour,  it 

*  This  opinion  I  had  formed  from  an  inspection  of  the  place 
itself.  Need  I  say  how  much  it  was  strengthened  by  the  plans 
subjoined,  in  which  M.  Vasdrhely  has  demonstrated  the  possibility 
of  its  existence,  and  shown  the  probable  manner  of  its  construc- 
tion. The  reader  will  understand  that  the  wood-work  is  only 



would  have  possessed,  if  this  supposition  is  correct, 
the  advantage  of  being  easily  and  effectually  inter- 
rupted in  case  that  pursuit  by  the  barbarians  ren- 
dered it  desirable  to  cut  off  the  communication. 

As  we  turned  from  these  remains  of  Roman 
greatness  to  the  other  side  of  the  river,  and  again 
got  on  shore,  to  examine  the  progress  they  were 
making  with  the  modern  road,  it  was  impossible  not 
to  be  struck  with  the  resemblance  of  the  Wallack 

peasants,  who  were  engaged  on  it,  to  the  Dacians  of 
Trajan's  column.  The  dress,  the  features,  and  the 
whole  appearance  of  the  Wallacks,  were  so  Dacian, 
that  a  man  fresh  from  Rome  could  scarcely  fail  to 

48  ORSOVA. 

recognise  it.  They  have  the  same  arched  nose, 
deeply  sunken  eye  and  long  hair,  the  same  sheep- 
skin cap,  the  same  shirt  bound  round  the  waist,  and 
descending  to  the  knee,  and  the  same  long  loose 
trowsers  which  the  Roman  chain  is  so  often  seen 
encircling  at  the  ankles.  It  was  only  required  to 
change  the  German  or  Hungarian  overlooker  in  his 
smart  hussar  uniform,  for  the  soldier  of  the  Roman 
legion  in  his  brilliant  armour,  and  we  might  have 
supposed  ourselves  present  at  the  very  scene  en- 
acted for  a  similar  purpose  on  the  opposite  side 
of  this  river  seventeen  hundred  years  before ! 

Orsova,  as  we  saw  it  next  morning,  appeared  a 
pretty  little  village,  situated  close  on  the  banks 
of  the  Danube,  and  fast  rising  into  importance  as 
the  frontier  town  of  Hungary,  towards  Servia  and 
Wallachia.  In  addition  to  the  money  spent  here 
by  travellers,  the  custom-house  and  quarantine  esta- 
blishments necessarily  give  it  greater  advantages 
than  are  possessed  by  most  Hungarian  places  of  its 
size.  At  a  little  distance  from  the  town,  too,  there 
is  a  small  covered  market,  where  the  Turks  and 
Servians  bring  their  wares  for  sale ;  and  though 
divided  by  rails,  and  closely  guarded  by  the  quaran- 
tine officers  in  order  to  prevent  contamination,  they 
carry  on  a  considerable  traffic  in  pipe-heads,  Turkish 
sweetmeats,  fruits,  ornaments,  and  other  small 
articles.  The  quarantine  establishment  was  nearly 
empty  at  the  time  we  visited  Orsova,  and  we  were 
shown  over  the  whole  of  it.  It  cannot  be  said  to 

NEW   ORSOVA.  49 

be  pleasant  to  pass  such  a  length  of  time  in  confine- 
ment anywhere;  but  I  know  of  few  places  where 
it  would  be  more  tolerable  than  at  Orsova.  A 
small  court  is  attached  to  each  set  of  apartments; 
and,  attended  by  a  guard,  permission  is  usually 
granted  to  walk  over  the  whole  place. 

A  mile  below  Orsova,  and  in  the  middle  of  the 
Danube,  lies  the  pretty  island  of  New  Orsova,  a 
Turkish  fortress,  now,  alas  !  somewhat  dilapidated, 
like  everything  else  Turkish  ;  though,  scarcely  a 
century  ago,  it  was  of  sufficient  strength  to  have 
occupied  the  Emperor  Joseph  II.  a  considerable 
time  to  batter  it  effectually  from  the  opposite 
mountains.  It  is  said  to  have  been  at  this  point 
that  the  great  crusade  of  1396,  under  the  Conne'table 
d'Eu  and  Sigismund  of  Hungary,  after  descending 
the  Danube  from  Buda  to  Orsova,  passed  over  to 
the  island,  and  so  across  to  the  Turkish  side.  One 
hundred  thousand  horsemen,  among  whom  were  the 
flower  of  the  French  chivalry,  seemed  to  give  an 
assurance  of  easy  victory;  and  as  Sigismund  marked 
their  close  and  well-ordered  ranks,  he  insolently 
exclaimed,  "  With  such  an  army,  I  can  brave  the 
world;  their  spears  would  uphold  the  canopy  of 
heaven  itself,  should  it  threaten  to  fall  upon  us ! " 
The  impious  boast  was  bitterly  atoned  for.  In  a 
very  few  days  the  plain  of  Nicopolis  witnessed  the 
complete  dispersion  of  this  host,  and  the  noblest 
and  bravest  of  them  dead,  or  captives  in  the  hands 
of  Bajazeth. 

VOL.  II.  E 



We  were  fortunate  enough  to  obtain  permission 
from  the  Herr  Cordons  Commandant  to  visit  the 
Pasha  of  Orsova;  and,  accompanied  by  a  custom- 
house officer,  apparently  to  enable  us  to  smuggle 
with  impunity,  and  another  from  the  quarantine  to 
prevent  our  catching  the  plague  in  any  but  the 
prescribed  form,  we  embarked  for  the  island.  About 
half  an  hour's  row  down  the  stream,  brought  us 
under  the  low  and  crumbling  walls  of  the  fortress; 
and  one  of  our  attendants,  acting  as  interpreter, 
hailed  a  magnificent  looking  fellow,  who  was  loung- 
ing about  very  nonchalantly, — but  who  was  neverthe- 
less a  Turkish  sentinel  on  duty — and  desired  him  to 
inform  the  Pasha  of  our  request  for  an  audience. 

In  the  meantime  we  landed,  and  pursued  our  way 
over  broken  walls  and  through  filled-up  ditches  to 
the  Pasha's  house ;  and  a  strange-looking  pile  we 


found  it.  The  lower  part  is  formed  of  a  solid  tower 
of  stone,  probably  the  remains  of  some  Gothic 
stronghold,  while  the  upper  story  is  only  a  wooden 
l)ox,  after  the  common  fashion  of  Turkish  houses, 
overhanging  its  base  in  every  direction,  and  in  its 
turn  covered  by  a  vast  umbrella-like  roof.  Our 
request  was  courteously  received,  and  we  were 
ushered  up  a  broad  flight  of  steps  outside  the  build- 
ing, and  between  long  rows  of  bare-footed  servants, 
to  the  audience  chamber.  Here  we  found  the  Pasha 
ready  to  receive  us,  and  after  sundry  bows  on  our 
parts  and  pressings  of  the  hand  to  the  heart  on  his, 
we  took  our  seats  opposite  each  other,  on  some  very 
common,  rush-bottomed  chairs.  These  were  evi- 
dently used  as  a  compliment  to  us;  for  they  appeared 
a  troublesome  luxury  to  our  host,  whose  legs  were 
either  dangling  awkwardly  in  mid-air,  or  perched  on 
the  highest  stave  in  anything  but  an  elegant  position. 
He  was  a  handsome  good-tempered  looking  man,  of 
about  forty,  with  a  fine  red  beard  curling  over  his 
breast.  He  was  far  enough  from  the  capital  in  his 
snug  little  island,  to  dispense  with  the  caricature 
of  a  uniform  worn  in  Constantinople,  and  his 
costume  of  embroidered  cloth  lined  with  fur,  was 
simple  and  handsome.  He  inquired  with  much 
anxiety  if  we  had  brought  our  pipes,  and  seemed 
very  much  annoyed  at  our  guides  for  not  having 
informed  us  that  a  recent  firman  had  forbidden 
any  Pasha  to  offer  pipes  to  strangers.  This  arrange- 
ment had  been  adopted  to  relieve  the  Pashas  from 



the  expense  of  maintaining  a  great  pipe  establish- 
ment, the  cost  of  which  was  sufficient  to  ruin  some 
of  the  poorer  of  them.  I  believe  it  has  been  given 
up  since.  It  was  in  vain  we  protested  that  we  did 
not  smoke  in  the  morning ;  when  the  poor  Pasha 
received  his  splendid  chibouque  he  drew  a  long 
whiff  or  two,  but  it  failed  to  soothe  his  wounded 
sense  of  hospitality,  and  he  protested  he  could 
not  smoke  unless  we  did  so  too.  At  last,  plague 
or  no  plague,  he  insisted  on  each  of  us  smoking 
from  his  own  pipe ;  nor  was  it  till  the  pale  lemon- 
coloured  amber  had  been  pressed  in  turn  by  every 
lip,  and  the  muddy  coffee  had  been  duly  drunk, 
that  he  felt  sufficiently  at  ease  to  begin  a  con- 

I  am  not  going  to  give  the  reader  the  Pasha's 
sage  remarks — that  is,  remarks  of  my  own,  which  I 
think  sufficiently  sage  to  be  palmed  off  as  a  Pasha's, 
— as  many  writers  in  these  modern  times  are  apt 
to  do,  often  too  when  they  have  not  understood  one 
word  of  the  language  spoken ;  and  it  is  not  worth 
while  repeating  the  commonplaces  our  interpreter 
passed  between  us.  The  Pasha  inquired  about  the 
progress  of  the  works  at  Kazan,  whether  the  bridge 
was  begun  at  Pest,  and  how  many  steam-boats  were 
building,  occasionally  stopping  to  assure  us  how 
great  was  his  pleasure  at  our  visit,  and  occasionally 
bursting  into  a  hearty  laugh  at  the  fear  our  at- 
tendants expressed  lest  we  might  touch  something 
capable  of  communicating  plague,  and  that  too  after 

NEW   ORSOVA.  53 

smoking  the  pipe  he  had  just  used.  As  in  every 
Turk, — and  almost  in  every  man  who  is  free  from 
affectation  and  servility,  —  his  manners  were  easy 
and  dignified ;  and  as  we  took  leave,  much  pleased 
with  our  visit,  he  invited  us  to  go  through  the  town, 
and  gave  orders  that  we  should  see  the  mosque  and 
anything  else  we  chose. 

The  town,  which  consists  of  four  streets  built  in 
the  form  of  a  cross,  is  as  completely  Turkish  as 
anything  in  Constantinople  ;  it  is,  in  fact,  a  little 
epitome  of  the  whole  empire.  The  same  filthy 
narrow  streets,  the  same  coffee-houses  with  their 
eternal  loungers  drawing  deep  draughts  of  pleasure 
from  the  bubbling  nargile  or  long  chibouque,  the 
open  shops,  the  carpeted  mosque  with  its  slender 
minaret,  and  the  pretty  burial-ground  with  its  tur- 
baned  head-stones,  as  are  to  be  seen  in  every  other 
part  of  Turkey ; — nay,  the  very  dogs  are  the  same 
snarling  ill-bred  mangy  curs  which  the  sons  of 
Mahomet  use  as  scavengers  wherever  their  sway  is 
felt.  It  was  amusing  to  see  with  what  officiousness 
our  quarantine  man  began  to  exercise  his  stick  on 
all  the  poor  animals  which  crossed  his  path,  but  an 
obstinate  hen  very  nearly  got  the  master  of  him  not- 
withstanding, and  we  were  obliged  to  run  into 
another  street  lest  a  chance  feather  from  her  wing 
should  condemn  us  to  a  fortnight's  quarantine. 
Heartily  did  the  good-humoured  Turks  shake  their 
sides  to  see  half  a  dozen  poor  Christians  in  flight 
before  a  cackling  hen  !  We  were  allowed,  ho*wever, 

54  NEW    ORSOVA. 

to  purchase  some  pipe-heads  from  Servia, — more 
beautiful  than  any  to  be  found  at  Constantinople,— 
probably  from  some  little  arrangement  between  the 
Turk  and  Christian  for  fleecing  the  stranger,  for  as 
we  went  away,  I  saw  our  guide  put  one  into  his  own 
pocket,  for  which  nothing  was  paid,  save  a  nod  of 
understanding  between  himself  and  the  merchant. 

The  most  insensible  can  hardly  fail  to  admire  the 
scenery  about  Orsova ;  the  island,  the  Elizabeth 
Tower  on  the  opposite  bank,  the  Alion  with  its 
wooded  sides,  and  the  expanse  of  water  itself,  are 
beauties  of  no  common  order.  From  the  passing 
view  we  had  of  some  Servian  peasants,  they  seemed 
to  resemble  the  Wallacks  in  their  dress.  The 
women  often  cover  their  heads  with  strings  of  gold 
and  silver  coins  till  they  assume  the  appearance  of 

Another  excursion  I  made  from  Orsova  was  to 
visit  the  Iron  Gates  of  the  Danube,  and  the  re- 
mains of  Trajan's  bridge.  As  these  objects  are  in 
Wallachia,  it  was  necessary  again  to  obtain  permis- 
sion, and  to  be  accompanied  by  quarantine  and 
custom-house  officers.  Having  provided  two  light 
waggons  with  four  horses  in  each,  we  followed  the 
banks  of  the  Danube,  passed  the  Island  of  Orsova, 
crossed  the  boundary  line  of  Hungary,  arid  con- 
tinued along  a  road  cut  in  the  side  of  the  mountain, 
amidst  the  most  beautiful  scenery,  till  the  roar  of 
the  waters  informed  us  we  were  approaching  the 
much-dreaded  cataracts  of  the  Iron  Gates. 



A  bad  name  is  a  bad  thing  ;  the  Black  Sea  is  still 
an  object  of  terror  at  Lloyd's,  though  its  navigation 
is  safer  than  the  generality  of  European  seas,  and 
the  Iron  Gates  were  long  considered  an  irresistible 
bar  to  commerce  on  the  Danube,  though  the  peasant 

pilots  of  Orsova  never  hesitate,  in  proper  seasons,  to 
shoot  them  with  as  clumsy  ill-constructed  vessels  as 
can  well  be  made.  These  rapids,  for  such  is  their 
proper  designation,  continue  under  different  names 
for  about  a  quarter  of  a  mile,  and  it  is  the  most  east- 
ern portion  which  is  properly  called  the  Iron  Gates, 
or,  by  the  Turks,  Demirkapi.  At  this  point  a  ledge 
of  rocks  runs  quite  across  the  river,  the  highest  part 

56  THE   IRON   GATES. 

of  which,  though  just  covered  in  the  ordinary  state 
of  the  water,  is  yet  sufficiently  evident,  and  pro- 
duces a  fall  of  several  feet,  which  is  followed  by 
an  eddy  which  might  prove  dangerous  to  very  small 
craft.  The  shallowness  of  the  water  is,  however, 
the  most  serious  obstacle,  and  at  certain  seasons 
this  is  so  extreme  as  to  put  a  stop  to  navigation 
entirely.  Two  plans  have  been  conceived  for  re- 
medying this  evil :  and  it  has  been  proposed  either 
to  blast  the  rocks,  a  difficult  and  expensive  pro- 
cess, or  to  form  a  canal  along  the  Servian  bank. 
Very  fortunately,  at  this  point  the  rocks,  instead 
of  coming  down  close  to  the  edge  of  the  water, 
leave  a  small  surface  of  flat  land,  round  which  it 
is  proposed  to  carry  a  canal ;  and  here,  it  is  said, 
remains  still  exist  of  a  canal  made  by  the  Romans 
for  the  very  same  purpose.  As  I  was  not  able  to 
verify  this  report  by  actual  inspection,  I  cannot 
state  it  to  be  positively  true ;  but  as  the  Via 
Trajana  was  continued  in  this  direction,  and  was 
pretty  certainly  used  as  a  towing  path,  I  think 
there  can  be  little  doubt  of  the  fact.  What  ob- 
stacle impedes  the  commencement  of  this  canal  I 
know  not,  but  fortunately  the  steam  navigation  is 
independent  of  it,  for  the  boats  come  up  to  Scala 
Gladova  without  impediment,  and  goods  and  pas- 
sengers are  thence  conveyed  by  boat  or  carriage 
to  Orsova,  so  that,  were  the  road  better,  the  ab- 
sence of  the  canal  would  be  of  little  consequence. 
Nor  is  this  interruption  of  so  great  importance  as 


it  would  be  in  any  other  position,  for  a  delay  is 
necessarily  caused,  in  passing  from  the  one  country 
to  the  other,  by  the  quarantine,  customs,  and  police 

As  we  turned  back  to  take  a  last  view  of  the 
dreaded  pass,  a  heavy  Turkish  boat,  with  its  lattine 
sails  approached,  and  we  had  an  opportunity,  of 
watching  it  pass  the  rapids.  The  sails  were  furled 
and  a  large  oar  was  put  out  to  aid  the  helm ;  the 
only  effects  we  could  observe  were,  a  slight  trem- 
bling of  the  mast,  a  sudden  shoot  over  the  rocks, 
a  little  reeling  in  the  eddy,  and  she  then  passed 
on  her  course  as  tranquilly  as  though  nothing  had 

The  banks  of  the  Danube  now  became  flat  and 
uninteresting, — Scala  Gladova,  through  which  our 
route  led  us,  is  a  very  miserable  little  Wallachian 
town  only  remarkable  because  the  steam-boats  stop 
there, — and  we  were  very  thankful  when  our  twenty 
miles'  drive  was  over  and  we  found  ourselves  at  the 
remains  of  Trajan's  bridge.  All  that  is  now  left  of 
this  structure  is  a  solid  shapeless  mass  of  masonry 
on  either  bank,  about  twenty  feet  high,  and  be- 
tween that  and  the  river  there  is,  on  each  side, 
a  broken  wall  on  a  level  with  the  top  of  the  banks, 
apparently  forming  the  piers  from  which  the  first 
arches  sprang.  On  both  sides,  the  banks  are  of  a 
considerable  height  aj)ove  the  water.  In  the  bed 
of  the  river,  and  in  a  direct  line  between  these 
ruins,  the  surveyors  have  traced  the  remains  of 



thirteen  pillars.  Not  far  from  the  middle,  as  will 
be  seen  by  the  plan,  a  kind  of  island  has  been 
formed,  which  occupies  the  space  of  four  pillars, 
and  on  the  northern  bank  there  is  a  second  space, 
apparently  filled  up  by  deposit,  whicli  leaves  room 
for  one  other  pillar,  thus  making,  in  addition  to 
those  on  the  bank,  twenty.  The  distance  between 
the  pillars  on  either  bank  is  five  hundred  and  sixty- 
two  Vienna  klafters,  or  about  three  thousand  nine 


hundred  English  feet.  The  pillar  on  the  north 
bank,  which  I  sketched,  is  not  built  of  hewn  stones, 
but  of  a  mass  of  shapeless  materials  joined  together 
with  Roman  cement.  It  may  have  been  encased 
in  hewn  stone,  which  has  been  removed  or  de- 
stroyed. This  is  all  I  could  observe  or  learn  of 
the  actual  state  of  the  remains  of  Trajan's  bridge. 
The  water,  though  not  high,  was  sufficiently  so  to 
prevent  even  a  ripple  appearing  on  the  surface, 
where  it  flowed  over  the  hidden  pillars,  but,  as 
may  be  seen  by  the  plan,  in  which  the  upper  line 
indicates  the  common  height  of  the  water,  and  the 
lower  its  state  in  1834,  the  tops  of  several  pillars 
are  sometimes  visible.  On  the  Wallachian  side,  a 
little  before  we  reached  the  ruin,  we  observed  the 
remains  of  a  tower  which  had  been  surrounded  by 
a  deep  and  wide  fosse.  Nothing  remains  of  the 
tower  to  indicate  its  origin  or  form  ;  but  the  fosse, 
if  I  remember  right,  is  circular.  It  was  probably 
intended  to  defend  the  passage  of  the  bridge. 

Now  let  us  inquire,  for  a  moment,  what  informa- 
tion ancient  authorities  afford  us  concerning  this 
great  work.  Dion  Cassius,  who  was  governor  of  part 
of  Pannonia  under  Hadrian,  the  successor  of  Trajan, 
wrote  a  history  of  Rome  down  to  his  own  time. 
A  considerable  part  of  this  history  is  lost,  and  among 
other  portions  the  account  of  Trajan's  bridge ;  but 
an  epitome  of  his  works  by  Ziphilini  still  exists, 
which  contains  a  short  description  of  it.  It  was 
built  by  Apollodorus,  the  architect  of  the  Forum 


Trajanum,  and  of  Trajan's  column  at  Rome,  and 
consisted  of  twenty  piers,  each  pier  being  one  hun- 
dred and  fifty  Roman  feet  high,  sixty  feet  thick, 
and  they  were  one  hundred  and  seventy  feet  dis- 
tant from  each  other.  At  either  end  it  was  pro- 
tected by  towers.  The  whole  work  is  said  to  have 
been  built  of  hewn  stone,  and  the  real  difficulties 
of  so  vast  an  undertaking  are  enhanced  by  a  false 
account  of  the  situation,  depth  of  water,  nature 
of  the  soil,  and  other  particulars.* 

The  second  authority  is  the  large  copper  coin  of 
Trajan,  containing  on  the  reverse  a  bridge.     From 
this  coin  it  would  rather  ap- 
pear that  the  towers  were  at 
the  entrances   of  the   bridge, 
and  that  they  had  somewhat 
the  appearance  of  triumphal 
arches.      The  figures  of  men 
are  very  discernible   on  both 
of  them.     The  arch  —  as  is 
often  the  case  in  coins  bear- 
ing figures  of  buildings,   a  part  being  put   to  re- 
present  the    whole,  —  appears    to    me,    as   well   as 
to  others  who   have   examined  it  with  me,   to  be 

*  I  should  remark,  that  this  is  one  of  the  widest  parts  of  the 
river,  and  was,  no  doubt,  on  that  account,  chosen  by  the  architect 
to  allow  the  force  of  the  sudden  floods  to  which  the  Danube  is 
subject,  on  the  breaking  up  of  the  ice,  to  waste  itself  on  an  ex- 
tended surface,  The  bed  of  the  river,  instead  of  answering  the 
description  of  Dion  Cassius,  is  sound,  and  the  depth  here  less 
than  in  most  other  parts. 


composed  of  wood,  though  the  piers  are  undoubtedly 
of  stone.* 

Besides  this,  we  have  a  third  authority  in  the 
column  of  Trajan,  where  a  part  of  the  bridge  is 
represented  in  the  back  ground,  and  again  the  upper 
portion  appears,  I  think,  to  be  decidedly  of  wood ; 
in  fact,  the  cross  bars  and  rails  are  exactly  like 
those  uniting  the  bridges  of  boats,  by  which  the 
Roman  army  is  often  seen  crossing  rivers  during 
their  march  to  Dacia.  I  need  scarcely  say,  that  the 
idea  of  the  wooden  projection  of  the  Via  Trajana 
strengthens  the  supposition  of  a  similar  construc- 
tion in  the  Pons  Trajani.  The  bridge  was  probably 
begun  about  103,  A.D.  ;  it  was  destroyed  about  120. 

Before  we  quit  the  subject,  one  word  on  the 
destruction  of  the  bridge.  Hadrian,  it  appears, 
anxious  to  enjoy  in  peace  the  conquests  of  his  pre- 
decessor, intended  to  give  up  the  newly-founded 
province  of  Dacia  ;  in  consequence,  however,  of  the 
number  of  Roman  colonists  already  established 
there,  he  was  persuaded  to  retain  it ;  but,  as  it  is 
said,  to  prevent  the  barbarians  crossing  over  into  the 
Thracian  provinces,  he  destroyed  the  bridge  across 
the  Danube.  I  cannot  help  thinking  that  personal 
feeling  had  some  connection  with  this  affair;  it 
seems  at  least  so  impolitic  to  retain  the  province, 
and  yet  cut  off  the  only  safe  and  sure  communica- 

*  This  opinion,  I  find,  is  supported  by  Marsigli,  Fabretti,  and 
Montfaucon,  who  make  very  light  of  the  exaggerations  of  Dion 


tion  with  it,  that  one  is  naturally  led  to  look  for 
other  motives  than  those  generally  ascribed  for  the 
destruction  of  this  bridge.  Now  it  appears  that 
Apollodorus  had  given  mortal  offence  to  Hadrian 
when  a  young  soldier  in  the  camp  of  Trajan,  by 
desiring  him  to  "  paint  gourds "  (an  amusement  to 
which  he  was  addicted),  "  and  not  to  speak  of  mat- 
ters he  did  not  understand,"  on  occasion  of  some 
silly  remarks  offered  by  the  future  Emperor  con- 
cerning the  plans  which  the  architect  was  displaying 
to  his  royal  master.  This  insult,  sharpened  by  the 
jealousy  which  Hadrian  felt  of  the  artist's  talents, 
was  never  forgiven,  and  no  sooner  did  he  assume 
the  purple  than  he  banished  Apollodorus,  and  finally 
had  him  put  to  death  on  some  false  pretence.  A 
man  whose  cruel  revenge  was  capable  of  demanding 
the  destruction  of  a  great  artist,  would  scarcely  be 
inclined  to  spare  that  artist's  most  esteemed  work, 
—  his  surest  claim  to  the  gratitude  and  remem- 
brance of  posterity  ;  and  1  think  it  highly  probable, 
that  Trajan's  greatest  glory  fell  a  sacrifice  to  Ha- 
drian's meanest  passion. 

On  our  return  to  Orsova,  we  found  that  a  fisher- 
man had  just  captured  an  enormous  sturgeon, — so 
large  that  when  placed  in  one  of  the  small  waggons 
of  the  country,  its  tail  dragged  along  the  ground 
behind.  It  was  taken  to  the  village  fountain,  washed, 
cut  up,  and  speedily  sold  to  the  peasants.  The 
sturgeon  is  said  to  be  abundant  in  this  part  of 
the  Danube,  and  to  attain  a  large  size,  but  it  is 


not  equal  in  delicacy  of  flavour  to  the  small  stur- 
geon of  the  Theiss.  Fresh  caviare  gourmands  may 
satisfy  their  longings  here  as  well  as  in  the  regions 
of  the  Wolga  or  the  Don.  In  Wallachia,  the  pre- 
paration of  the  hard  caviare  is  much  cared  for,  and 
most  of  that  met  with  at  Constantinople  is  obtain- 
ed from  thence.  Nothing  can  be  ruder  than  the 
Wallack  mode  of  fishing.  A  long  string  of  floats 
stoutly  fastened  together,  support  a  number  of  huge 
hooks  which  hang  at  different  depths  in  the  water 
without  baits,  but  so  placed  as  to  hook  the  fish  as 
he  swims  by.  Angling  as  an  amusement  is  rarely 
followed  in  Hungary,  but  from  the  quantity  of  trout 
met  with  on  the  table,  I  should  think  it  might 
afford  good  sport. 

It  was  a  fine  autumn  afternoon  when  we  left 
Orsova,  and  following  the  valley  of  the  Cserna, 
closely  hemmed  in  by  its  wooded  hills,  pursued  our 
way  to  Mehadia.  The  groups  of  Wallack  women,  as 
we  saw  them  in  the  evening  assembled  round  their 
cottage  doors,  or  returning  home  from  the  labours 
of  the  field,  were  too  peculiar  to  escape  the  ob- 
servation, and  sometimes  admiration  of  strangers. 
Their  dress,  like  the  men's,  rather  Dacian,  consists 
of  the  homespun  linen  shirt,  fastened  close  round 
the  neck,  and  reaching  down  to  the  ankles.  At  the 
sleeves,  and  round  the  collar,  it  is  often  prettily  em- 
broidered in  blue  and  red.  Before  and  behind  they 
wear  a  coarse  woollen  apron  of  different  colours, 
the  lower  part  of  which  is  commonly  a  mere  fringe 


and  such,  with  a  coloured  fillet  bound  round  the 
head,  is  the  only  summer  covering  of  the  Wallack 
women.  No  dress  was  ever  less  adapted  to  conceal 
the  form ;  the  close-fitting  apron  seems  rather  in- 
tended to  display  to  the  greatest  advantage  the 
Venus-like  proportions  of  the  figure  ;  nor  are  the 
beauties  of  the  youthful  bust  less  delicately  out- 
lined by  the  tight  linen  shirt. 

We  met  some  twenty  or  thirty  of  the  Borderers 
on  march  to  relieve  the  guard  on  duty  at  some 
distant  post,  where  they  would  have  to  remain  for 
a  week.  They  were  exceedingly  well  dressed,  and 
had  quite  the  appearance  of  regular  troops. 

In  many  parts  of  this  valley  the  road  is  adorned 
by  avenues  of  the  white  mulberry.  I  think  it  was 
under  Maria  Theresa  that  the  idea  of  cultivating 
silk  in  Hungary  was  first  started,  and  several  at- 
tempts were  subsequently  made  in  different  parts 
of  the  country  with  considerable  success.  In  1811, 
Government  planted  the  Banat  military  frontier 
with  mulberries,  in  the  hope  of  being  able  to  feed 
the  worm  on  the  tree,  but  I  believe  the  experiment 
did  not  succeed,  though  it  is  difficult  to  say  from 
what  cause.  A  great  number  of  landowners  are 
now  planting  the  mulberry  in  different  parts  of 
Hungary,  and  it  is  highly  probable  that  silk  will, 
ere  long,  be  one  of  the  staple  commodities  of  the 

Near  Topletz  are  the  ruins  of  an  aqueduct,  which 
formerly  extended  from  the  baths  of  Mehadia  to 


Orsova.  No  one  who  has  seen  the  Turkish  aque- 
ducts near  Constantinople,  can  doubt  as  to  the 
origin  of  this  one;  it  is  clearly  of  Turkish  and 

not  Roman  workmanship.  Its  object  was  probably 
to  convey  the  medicated  waters  of  Mehadia  to  the 
village  of  Orsova  which  was  for  many  years  the 
residence  of  a  Pasha,  and  an  important  Turkish 

About  ten  miles  from  Orsova  we  quitted  the 
main  valley,  and  pursuing  the  course  of  the  Cser- 
na,  entered  the  valley  of  Mehadia,  in  which  the 
baths  of  Mehadia  are  situated.  It  was  now  past 
the  bathing  season,  and  we  were  the  only  strangers 

VOL.  n.  F 


there  ;  but  the  reader  must  allow  me  to  transport 
him  back  to  the  gaiety  of  July,  in  which  month  I 
visited  it  on  another  occasion. 

The  baths  consist  of  a  number  of  handsome  build- 
ings round  an  oval  place,  furnished  with  seats,  and 
commonly  enlivened  by  music  and  loungers.  The 
valley  is  so  exceedingly  narrow,  that  there  was  but 
just  room  to  build  these  houses ;  nor  have  they 
been  erected  without  a  sacrifice  of  the  romantic 
scenery.  The  large  building  to  the  right  was  con- 
structed by  the  Emperor  Francis,  and  it  is  let  out 
at  certain  fixed  and  very  moderate  prices  as  an 
hotel,  while  the  lower  part  contains  baths. 

The  antiquity  of  the  Hercules  Baths  are  beyond 
question.  Many  votive  tablets  and  statues  suffi- 
ciently attest  that  they  were  dedicated  to  Hercules 
and  that  they  were  known  to  the  Romans  as  early 
as  the  reign  of  Hadrian,  with  whom  they  were  in 
high  repute  for  their  medicinal  virtues. 

From  June  to  September  these  baths  are  the 
favourite  resort  of  the  Hungarians  and  Transylva- 
nians,  and,  besides  receiving  occasionally  members  of 
every  other  part  of  the  Austrian  dominions,  a  rich 
Boyard  from  Wallachia,  an  uncouth  prince  from 
Servia,  and  a  vagabond  Englishman,  may  often  be 
seen  mingling  with  the  gay  groups  on  the  evening 
promenade.  An  Englishman  must  almost  have 
ceased  to  be  a  wonder  now,  but  it  is  not  very  long 
since  some  pretty  little  Banatians  were  terribly 
scolded  by  mamma  for  running  out  to  get  a  peep 


at  an  islander,  a  sort  of  thing,  as  they  urged  in  ex- 
cuse, they  had  never  seen  in  their  lives  before,  and 
which  they  were  not  a  little  disappointed  to  find 
so  much  like  other  human  beings. 

There  are  few  bathing-places  can  boast  so  really 
beautiful  a  neighbourhood  as  this  ;  for  several  miles 
up  the  valley,  where  a  foot-path  has  been  cut 
through  the  woods,  nothing  can  be  more  exqui- 
sitely lovely  than  the  scenery.  And  then,  there 
are  mountains  to  ascend,  a  real  robber's  cave  to 
explore,  a  little  waterfall  to  visit,  besides  excur- 
sions, to  I  know  not  how  many  wonderful  places 
in  the  neighbourhood,  to  be  made.  But  the  white 
precipitous  rocks,  which  make  the  valley  so  pic- 
turesque, render  it  excessively  close,  and  in  July 
and  August  it  is  scarcely  possible  to  move  out  in 
the  day-time.  These  same  rocks,  however,  are  not 
to  be  scorned,  for  they  are  so  high  and  close  as 
to  produce  an  early  sunset,  and  thus  leave  a  long 
cool  twilight  for  the  promenade.  So  much  greater 
is  the  heat  in  this  valley  than  elsewhere,  that  the 
tarantula  and  scorpion,  unknown  in  other  parts  of 
Hungary,  are  far  from  uncommon. 

Beautiful,  however,  as  Mehadia  is,  its  beauty  will 
not  please  for  ever ;  as  is  often  the  case  with  other 
beauties,  its  appearance  is  useful  as  an  attraction, 
but  it  requires  other  qualities  to  keep  alive  our  in- 
terest in  them.  It  maybe  an  effectual  cure,*  as  the 

*  There  are  nine  different  springs  here  in  use,  each  varying  con- 
siderably in  the  proportions  of  their  mineral  contents,  as  given  by 

F  2 


doctors  vouch,  for  an  infinity  of  human  ills,  but  to  a 
healthy  man,  a  long  residence  there  is  apt  to  induce 
one  as  bad  as  any  in  the  list — ennui.  In  the  morning 
it  is  de  rigueur  to  parboil  yourself  in  the  fetid  waters, 
from  which  you  escape  so  exhausted,  that  leaning 
out  of  the  window  and  watching  your  neighbour 
enjoying  the  same  recreation,  is  all  you  are  capable 
of.  At  one  the  gentlemen  meet  at  the  table  d'hote, 
— the  ladies  generally  dine  in  their  own  rooms,— 
and  consume  a  very  indifferent  dinner,  notwith- 
standing the  eulogies  of  some  travellers  just  escaped 
from  quarantine  diet.  Till  six  the  time  must  still 
be  killed.  A  little  quiet  gambling  is  generally 

chemical  analysis.  They  have  all,  however,  more  or  less,  the 
same  ingredients,  of  which  the  chief  are  muriates  of  soda  and 
lime,  sulphate  of  lime,  sulphuretted  hydrogen  gas,  nitrogen  gas, 
and  carhonic  acid  gas,  except  the  Hercules  bath,  which  contains 
no  sulphuretted  hydrogen.  The  temperature  varies  in  the  dif- 
ferent springs  from  32°  to  50°  of  Reaumur,  but  a  cooling  appa- 
ratus enables  one  to  regulate  the  temperature  at  will.  Mehadia 
is  considered  in  Hungary  as  the  very  first  in  the  healing  powers 
of  its  waters,  It  is  particularly  recommended  in  indolent  skin 
diseases,  in  cases  of  gout  in  all  its  forms,  chronic  rheumatism, 
scrofula,  chronic  diseases  of  the  joints,  complicated  mercurial 
affections,  old  liver  complaints,  in  all  that  prolific  class  called 
Verstopfungen  by  the  Germans,  hysteria,  hypochondria,  and  many 
other  of  the  opprobria  medica.  An  eye-bath  is  arranged  so  that 
the  eye  may  be  exposed  to  the  hot  mineral  vapour,  and  is  much 
used  in  chronic  affections  of  that  organ.  Nothing  but  experience 
can  decide  on  the  credit  due  to  mineral  waters  in  diseases,  but  on 
the  healthy  body  I  do  not  think  I  ever  felt  any  produce  a  greater 
effect  than  these :  the  weakness  and  profuse  perspiration  which 
follows  the  bath  is  extreme.  — Vide  Die  Hercules  Bader  bei 
Mehadia,  von  J.  G.  Schwarzott. 


transacted  about  this  time,  by  such  as  have  a  taste 
for  it,  and  smoking  too  was  a  great  resource, 
especially  after  some  cosmopolite  Turks  had  phil- 
anthropically  established  themselves  in  one  corner 
of  the  place  with  a  large  stock  of  chibouques  and 
Latakia,  to  the  great  edification  of  all  honest  Chris- 
tians who  loved  good  tobacco.  At  six,  the  beau 
monde  makes  its  appearance,  the  gipsy  band  strikes 
up  its  joyous  notes,  and  till  eight  the  promenade 
of  Mehadia  is  gay  with  music  and  beauty.  A  bad 
German  theatre  and  an  occasional  ball  add  to  the 
amusements  of  those  who  like  them,  but  there  is 
a  want  of  some  common  place  of  re-union,  which 
prevents  the  society  coming  together  as  much  as 
it  otherwise  would. 

The  deficiency  of  accommodation  here  is  a  cry- 
ing evil,  and  new  arrivals  are  not  unfrequently 
obliged  to  sleep  on  tables  and  chairs  in  the  public 
dining-room.  On  returning  to  my  room  one  night, 
rather  late,  I  found  the  whole  passage  covered  with 
mattresses  on  which  were  stretched  some  dozen 
human  figures ;  many  of  whom  were  young  and  very 
pretty  girls  of  the  middle  class,  some  of  them  un- 
fortunate cripples,  and  all  freshly  arrived,  and  thank- 
ful even  for  this  shelter.  In  this  condition  they  re- 
mained a  week  before  they  could  procure  rooms. 

The  political  economist  in  such  a  case  would 
quietly  fold  his  arms  and  say  the  supply  will  be  re- 
gulated by  the  demand,  and  so  it  might  elsewhere, 
but  Mehadia  is  on  the  military  frontiers,  and  conse- 



quently  under  the  administration  of  the  Kammer, 
which,  with  its  usual  forethought  and  good  sense 
refuses  permission  to  any  private  individual  to  build 
an  hotel,  except  on  condition  that  no  one  shall 
enter  it  till  all  the  present  accommodations  are 
occupied,  for  fear  of  injuring  the  present  proprietors. 
This  is  an  instance  of  the  advantages  accruing  from 
the  excessive  care  of  a  paternal  government :  here 
it  deprives  its  poor  children  of  a  comfortable  lodging 
—would  to  God  it  never  deprived  them  of  still 
more  important  blessings ! 





Szegedin.  —  The  Banat  —  its  History.  —  Fertility.  —  State  of 
Agriculture.  —  Climate.  —  Mines.  —  Population.  —  Prosperous 
Villages. — The  Peasant  and  the  Bishop  of  Agram. — The  New 
Urbarium. —  The  Kammeral  Administration.  —  Temesvar.  — 
Roads. — Baron  Wenkheim's  Reforms. — A  Wolf  Hunt. 

IT  was  by  Szegedin  that  we  entered  this  El  Do- 
rado— this  land  of  promise  for  Christianized  Jews, 
and  ennobled  Greeks.  Szegedin  is  itself  one  of  the 
most  disagreeable  towns  in  Hungary;  its  streets 
are  wide,  and  traversed  by  planks,  which,  however 
useful  they  may  be  in  keeping  people  on  foot 
out  of  the  muddy  abyss  on  each  side,  are  par- 
ticularly unpleasant  to  those  who  are  bumped  over 
them  to  the  imminent  hazard  of  their  carriage- 
springs.  The  houses  look  damp  and  deserted ;  and 
the  ruins  of  the  old  fortress,  which  once  commanded 
the  passage  of  the  Theiss,  add  to  the  desolation, 
without  increasing  the  beauty  of  the  place.  I 
doubt,  however,  if  Szegedin  really  merits  the  cha- 

*  Though  not  directly  in  our  present  route,  I  have  thought  it 
best  to  take  the  whole  of  the  Banat  together,  that  I  might  give  a 
more  complete  idea  of  its  position  and  extent. 


racter  which,  perhaps,  my  feelings  have  associated 
with  it:  a  dull  day,  or  his  own  ill-humour,  often 
give  a  most  incorrect  colouring  to  the  passing 
traveller's  observations.  It  is,  in  fact,  a  town  of 
considerable  traffic,  with  which  its  situation,  at 
the  confluence  of  two  such  rivers  as  the  Theiss 
and  Maros,  has  naturally  endowed  it. 

It  was  Sunday  when  we  passed ;  and,  among  the 
holiday-makers,  I  remarked  what  I  suspect  to  be 
a  remnant  of  Turkish  habits.  The  women  of  the 
lower  classes  wore  slippers  without  heels,  fancifully 
worked  on  the  front  in  silk  or  worsted ;  just,  in 
fact,  the  in-door  chaussure  of  the  ladies  of  Con- 
stantinople. Beyond  the  town,  the  Maros  had 
overflowed  its  banks,  and  formed  an  immense  lake, 
extending  for  several  miles  to  the  south.  This 
appeared,  however,  so  frequent  an  occurrence,  as 
to  have  induced  the  people  to  provide  against  it, 
for  we  passed  through  the  waters  on  a  good  raised 
road  to  Szb'reg. 

Our  route  from  thence  to  Temesvar,  lay  through 
a  flat,  and  often  swampy  country ;  but  at  the  same 
time  so  overladen  with  the  riches  of  production 
that  I  do  not  recollect  ever  to  have  seen  so  luxu- 
riant a  prospect  in  any  other  part  of  the  world.  It 
was  the  month  of  July,  and  the  harvest  was  already 
begun.  Every  field  was  waving  with  the  bright  yel- 
low corn,  often  so  full  in  the  head  as  to  have  sunk 
under  its  own  weight,  and  the  whole  plain  seemed 
alive  with  labourers,  though  apparently  there  were 


not  half  the  number  required  for  the  work  before 

The  Banat  is  a  district  in  the  south-east  corner 
of  Hungary,  lying  between  the  Theiss,  Maros,  and 
Danube,  and  containing  the  three  counties  of  Tho- 
rontal,  Temesvar,  and  Krasso.  It  is  not  one  hun- 
dred years  since  the  Turks  were  in  possession  of 
this  province ;  and  it  was  not  till  the  close  of  the 
last  century,  that  it  was  entirely  free  from  Mos- 
lem incursion.  Those  who  have  visited  any  of  the 
countries  under  the  Ottoman  rule,  will  easily  un- 
derstand the  wild  and  savage  state  in  which  this 
beautiful  land  then  was.  The  philanthropic  Joseph 
II.  determined  to  render  it  equally  populous  and 
civilized  with  the  rest  of  Hungary.  From  the 
flatness  of  a  large  portion  of  the  surface,  and  from 
the  quantity  of  rivers  by  which  it  is  watered,  im- 
mense morasses  were  formed,  which  tainted  the 
air,  and  made  it  really  then  what  some  French 
writer  now  undeservedly  calls  it  "le  tombeau  des 
etrangers"  To  tempt  settlers,  the  land  was  sold  at 
exceedingly  moderate  prices ;  and  Germans,  Greeks, 
Turks,  Servians,  Wallacks,  nay,  even  French  and 
Italians,  were  brought  over  to  people  this  luxuriant 
wilderness.  The  soil,  a  rich  black  loam,  hitherto 
untouched  by  the  plough,  yielded  the  most  extra- 
ordinary produce.  Fortunes  were  rapidly  made ; 
and,  at  the  present  day,  some  of  the  wealthiest  of 
the  Hungarian  gentry  were,  half  a  century  ago, 
poor  adventurers  in  the  Banat. 


To  those  who  have  never  lived  in  any  but  an 
old  country,  the  soil  of  which  is  impoverished  by 
the  use  of  many  ages,  it  is  difficult  to  believe  what 
riches  are  hidden  in  untilled  ground.  The  produc- 
tive powers  of  a  naturally  good  soil,  deposited  by 
swamps  and  rivers,  when  heightened  by  a  climate 
more  nearly  tropical  than  temperate,  are  wonder- 
ful. The  same  crops  are  here  repeated  year  after 
year,  on  the  same  spots ;  the  ground  is  only  once 
turned  up  to  receive  the  seed ;  a  fallow  is  un- 
known ;  manure  is  never  used,  but  is  thrown  away 
as  injurious;  and  yet  with  the  greatest  care  and 
labour  in  other  places,  I  never  saw  such  abund- 
ant produce  as  ill-treated  unaided  Nature  here 
bestows  upon  her  children.  Except  the  olive  and 
orange,  there  is  scarcely  a  product  of  Europe  which 
does  not  thrive  in  the  Banat.  I  do  not  know 
that  I  can  enumerate  all  the  kinds  of  crop  raised ; 
but,  among  others,  are  wheat,  barley,  oats,  rye, 
rice,  maize,  flax,  hemp,  rape,  sun-flowers  (for  oil), 
tobacco  of  different  kinds,  wine,  and  silk, — nay, 
even  cotton,  tried  as  an  experiment,  is  said  to  have 

All  through  Hungary,  the  state  of  agriculture, 
among  the  peasantry,  is  in  a  very  primitive  state. 
In  the  poorer  parts,  they  allow  the  ground  to  fallow 
every  other  year,  and  sometimes  manure  it,  though 
rarely.  As  for  changing  the  crops,  that  is  little 
attended  to.  Here  they  will  continue  year  after 
year  the  same  thing,  without  its  making  any  appa- 


rent  difference.  Nowhere  are  the  agricultural  in- 
struments of  a  ruder  form,  or  more  inefficiently  em- 
ployed than  in  the  Banat.  The  plough  is  generally 
a  simple  one-handled  instrument,  heavy,  and  ill 
adapted  for  penetrating  deeply  into  the  soil.  The 
fork  is  merely  a  branch  of  a  tree,  which  happened 
to  fork  naturally,  and  which  is  peeled  and  sharp- 
ened for  use.  The  corn  is  rarely  stacked,  being  com- 
monly trodden  out  by  horses  as  soon  as  it  is  cut.  In 
the  Wallack  villages,  notwithstanding  the  capabili- 
ties of  the  soil,  maize  is  almost  the  only  crop  culti- 
vated. Barley  is  rarely  found  in  any  part  of  Hun- 
gary ;  and,  strange  to  say,  where  so  many  horses  are 
kept,  horse-beans  are  unknown.  Green  crops,  ex- 
cept among  a  few  agricultural  reformers,  are  com- 
pletely neglected.  The  crop  of  hay  is  commonly 
cut  twice  in  a  season.  I  do  not  remember  ever  to 
have  seen  irrigation  practised,  though  there  are  few 
countries  in  which  it  would  be  productive  of  greater 

The  climate  of  the  Banat,  in  summer,  approaches 
nearly  to  that  of  Italy ;  but  the  winter,  though  less 
inclement  than  in  the  rest  of  Hungary,  is  still  too 
long  and  severe  for  the  olive  or  the  orange.  Even 
in  summer,  the  nights  are  often  intensely  cold. 
After  the  hottest  day,  the  sun  no  sooner  sets  than 
a  cool  breeze  rises,  refreshing  at  first,  but  which 
becomes  dangerous  to  those  who  are  unprepared  for 
it.  The  Hungarian  never  travels  without  his  fur  or 
sheep-skin  coat;  and  the  want  of  such  a  defence 

76  MINES. 

is  often    the    cause   of  fever    to   the   unsuspecting 

The  scenery  of  the  Banat  is  extremely  various ; 
from  the  flat  plains  of  Thorontal  to  the  snowy 
mountains  of  Krasso,  almost  every  variety  may 
be  found  which  the  lover  of  Nature  can  desire. 
The  rare,  though  seldom  visited,  beauties  of  the 
Maros,  the  smiling  neighbourhood  of  Lugos,  the 
darker  attractions  of  the  Cserna  and  the  Reka, 
and  the  fine  woods  and  pretty  streams  with 
which  the  Banat  abounds,  may  justly  entitle  it 
to  boast  itself  among  the  most  favoured  parts  of 

The  mines  of  the  Banat,  though  of  great  an- 
tiquity,* and  still  worked,  are  less  productive  than 
those  of  the  north.  Near  Qrawitza,  coal  has  been 
found,  and  is  now  in  use  for  the  steam-boats,  which 
the  English  engineers  declare  to  be  in  no  way  in- 
ferior to  the  best  Newcastle.  The  Banat  mines  are 
worked  chiefly  for  copper,  lead,  tin,  and  zinc :  of 
copper,  about  7,000  cent,  are  annually  produced; 
of  lead,  about  2,000  cent. ;  and  of  zinc,  about  500 
cent.  The  quantity  of  iron  obtained  I  could  not 
ascertain.  About  five  thousand  miners  are  em- 
ployed. It  is  a  curious  fact  that,  owing  it  is 
said  to  mal-administration,  the  coal  is  as  dear  as 
that  obtained  from  England  via  Constantinople, 
notwithstanding  the  distance  of  carriage. 

*  Some  time  since  a  silver  coin  was  found,  indicating  the  date 
at  which  these  mines  were  first  worked  by  the  Romans. 


But   one  of  the   most    curious   features   of  the 
Banat  is  the  motley  appearance  of  its  inhabitants, 
who,  as  the  different  races  are  generally  in  distinct 
villages,  have  preserved   their   national    character- 
istics quite  pure.     In  one  village  which,  from  the 
superiority    of  its   buildings,   and   from   the   large 
and  handsome  school-house,  you  at  once  recognise 
to   be   German,    you    still    see    the    old-fashioned 
costume  of  the  Bavarian  broom-girl,  and  the  light 
blue  eyes  and  sandy  hair   of  their   colder   father- 
land.    A  few  miles  off,  you  enter  a  place  formed 
only  of  the  wooden  hovels  of  the  Wallacks ;  and 
here,  though  it   is   in  the    midst   of  harvest,    you 
find  a  number  of  lazy   fellows   lying  about   their 
doors,  while  their   half-robed    wives   amuse   them- 
selves  with    an  occupation   about    their   husbands' 
heads,    for   which    the   English    language   has    no 
word  fit  for  ears   polite.     The    languages   are  pre- 
served as  pure  as  other  nationalisms ;  and  though 
the  German  can  often  speak  Wallachian,  you  may 
be   quite    sure   that    the  Wallack   can  only  speak 
his  own  barbarous  tongue.      The  Magyar  and   the 
Ratz,  are  equally  characteristic   and    distinct.      In 
one  place,  I  think    Kanisa,  on  finding  the  drivers 
spoke  neither  German,  Hungarian,  nor  Wallack — 
for  the  ear  soon   teaches  one    to  distinguish  these 
languages — I  inquired  of  a  respectable-looking  per- 
son, who  was  standing  in  the  inn-yard,  from  whence 
they  were?     "Bulgarians,"  he  answered  in  German: 
"  and  it  is  just  one  hundred  years  since  they  left 


Turkey,  and  established  themselves  on  this  spot, 
under  the  protection  of  the  Emperor."  The  size 
of  the  village,  and  the  appearance  of  the  houses, 
sufficiently  bespoke  them  to  be  a  prosperous  and 
flourishing  colony. 

In  some  places,  people  of  two  or  three  nations 
are  mixed  together,  and  it  not  unfrequently  hap- 
pens, that  next  door  neighbours  cannot  under- 
stand each  other.  The  different  nations  rarely 
intermarry, — a  Magyar  with  a  Wallack,  never.  I 
do  not  here  enter  into  the  manners  or  customs 
of  the  inhabitants  of  the  Banat,  because  every 
nation  retains  its  own,  and  most  of  these,  except 
the  Wallacks,  we  have  already  spoken  of,  and  of 
them  we  shall  say  more  when  we  get  into  Tran- 

It  is  scarcely  possible,  in  passing  through  some 
of  the  German  villages  of  the  Banat,  such  for  in- 
stance as  Hatzfeld,  not  to  exclaim  as  a  Scotch  friend 
of  mine  did,  "  Would  to  God  our  own  people  could 
enjoy  the  prosperity  in  which  these  peasants  live." 
It  is,  in  fact,  impossible  to  imagine  those  who  live 
by  the  labour  of  their  hands,  enjoying  more  of  the 
material  good  things  of  the  world  than  they  do.  In 
addition  to  the  richest  land  in  the  country,  the 
Banat  peasant  has  many  privileges  peculiar  to  him- 
self, conferred  when  it  was  an  object  to  attract 
settlers  from  other  districts,  and  these  he  still  pre- 
serves. Among  other  things  he  is  free  from  the 
"long journeys,"  the  "hunting,"  the  "  spinning,"  the 


"  chopping  and  carrying  of  wood,"  and  from  the 
tithe  of  fruit  and  vegetables.  He  has,  moreover, 
free  rights  of  fishing,  of  cutting  reeds,  and  feeding 
his  pigs,  and  gathering  sticks  in  his  master's  forests, 
many  of  which,  though  trifling  in  themselves,  give 
to  the  sober  and  industrious  peasant,  a  great  oppor- 
tunity to  improve  his  position.  But,  more  than  all, 
he  has  the  liberty  to  redeem  half  his  days  of  labour, 
at  the  rate  of  ten  kreutzers,  or  five  pence  per  day,  an 
advantage  of  which  he  never  fails  to  avail  himself. 

From  the  last  station,  before  we  arrived  at  Te- 
inesvar,  a  German  peasant  wras  our  driver,  who,  on 
inquiring  to  whom  the  village,  Billiet,  belonged, 
shook  his  head,  and  said,  "  The  Bishop  of  Agram." 
I  was  sure  that  portentous  shake  of  the  head  meant 
something  sorrowful ;  and,  as  I  never  yet  saw  man 
in  sorrow  that  did  not  wish  to  tell  his  woes,  I  knew 
I  had  only  to  encourage  him,  to  get  it  all  out ;  and 
accordingly,  from  an  inquiring  look,  he  took  courage, 
pulled  his  horses  up  to  a  walk,  and,  turning  half- 
round  on  the  box,  began,  "  Why,  sir,  Billiet,  and 
many  other  villages  round  here  belong  to  the  Bishop 
of  Agram,  who  lives  a  long  way  off,  and  keeps  his 
prefects  here.  Now,  sir,  this  year  the  crops  are 
very  heavy,  so  the  prefect  comes  with  the  new  ur- 
barium,  and  says,  '  I  have  the  right  to  order  you 
peasants  to  send  from  each  house  two  men  four 
days  in  each  week  during  the  harvest,  that  the 
corn  may  be  the  sooner  in,  and  accordingly,  I  ex- 
pect you  to  obey/  But  in  our  village,  as  indeed  in 


all  others,  this  urbarium  is  kept,  and  many  have 
read  it  carefully,  and  found  nothing  of  the  sort 
in  it;  for,  on  the  contrary,  it  is  stated  that  a  pea- 
sant holding  an  entire  fief  must  send  in  harvest  time 
one  man  for  four  days  in  two  weeks,  only,  but  then 
no  more  can  be  demanded  for  a  fortnight.  And 
so,  sir,  the  Biro  thought  also,  and  he  goes  to  the 
prefect  to  tell  him  his  orders  were  unjust,  and  that 
he  could  not  put  them  into  execution.  With  that 
the  prefect  flies  into  a  passion,  tells  the  judge  his 
business  is  to  do  what  is  ordered,  not  to  bother  his 
head  about  what  he  does  not  understand,  and  calls 
him  a  rogue,  and  other  bad  names  which  he  did  not 
deserve,  for  he  is  a  very  honest  man,  and  respected 
by  all  the  village.  Determined  not  to  suffer  such 
an  insult,  the  Biro  replied  that  he  neither  could 
nor  would  act  against  the  law  and  his  conscience, 
and  said  that  if  he  was  a  rogue,  he  could  be  no  fit 
person  to  execute  any  longer  the  duties  of  Biro, 
and  he  therefore  begged  to  lay  down  his  stick  of 
office.  The  next  day  the  prefect  sent  orders  to  the 
peasants  to  elect  a  new  Biro,  but  the  peasants  re- 
chose  their  former  one,  declaring  that  they  would 
obey  no  other;  and  so  at  present  the  affair  stands, 
no  one  knowing  how  it  will  terminate." 

All  these  misfortunes,  the  poor  fellow  seemed  to 
think  came  from  living  under  a  bishop,  and  he 
complained  sadly  that  the  Emperor  had  so  soon 
given  them  another  after  the.  death  of  the  last. 
"  We  had  hardly  done  rejoicing  that  our  old  Bishop 

THE    RAMMER.  81 

was  dead,"  he  continued,  "  when  a  new  one  came 
in  his  place." 

It  is  a  prerogative  of  the  Hungarian  crown  to 
retain  the  revenue  of  a  bishopric  for  three  years, 
between  the  death  of  one  incumbent  and  the  instal- 

ition  of  another,  and  it  is  very  rarely  that  the  right 
is  not  taken  full  advantage  of,  but  in  the  present 

istance,  the  see  remained  vacant  only  six  months. 
It  must  not  be  supposed  that  the  tenants  of  the  late 
bishop  bore  him  any  personal  ill-will ;  indeed,  as 
he  lived  in  Croatia,  and  they  in  the  Banat,  they 
could  know  very  little  of  him ;  but  absenteeism  be- 
gets no  good- will  anywhere,  and  the  hope  of  being 
under  the  officers  of  the  Kammer  or  Exchequer  for 
three  years,  instead  of  the  Bishop's  steward,  would 
more  than  have  consoled  them  for  the  death  of 
a  dozen  such  prelates.  I  believe  I  must  let  the 
reader  a  little  into  the  mysteries  of  this  Exchequer 
Stewardship,  this  Kammer al  Administration,  before 
he  can  fully  comprehend  the  peasant's  joy  at  his 
Bishop's  death,  or  his  disappointment  at  his  suc- 
cessor's speedy  appointment. 

The  King  of  Hungary  is  heir,  in  default  of  male 
descendants,  of  all  fiefs  male,  under  which  title  most 
of  the  land  in  Hungary  is  held,  with  the  condition, 
however,  that  he  shall,  when  he  sees  fit,  confer  it 
on  others,  as  the  reward  of  public  services.  All 
newly-conquered  land  of  course  belongs,  in  like  man- 
ner, to  the  crown,  so  that  at  one  time,  the  whole  of 
the  Banat,  and  the  greater  part  of  it  still,  as  well 
VOL.  n.  G 

82  THE   RAMMER. 

as  many  estates*  in  other  parts  of  the  country,  are 
enjoyed  by  the  king  under  this  title.  The  steward- 
ship of  such  vast  possessions  necessarily  employs  a 
great  number  of  persons,  all  of  whom,  particularly 
the  inferiors,  are,  according  to  the  rule  of  the  Aus- 
trian Government,  very  badly  paid.  As  might  na- 
turally be  expected  under  such  a  system,  none  but 
the  very  highest  officers  are  insensible  to  the  charms 
of  a  bribe.  If  an  estate  is  to  be  purchased,  ''the 
valuer  must  be  fee'd  that  he  may  not  over-value  it, 
the  resident-steward  must  be  fee'd  that  he  may  not 
injure  him  in  another  point,  and  the  clerks  of  the 
offices  must  also  be  fee'd  in  order  to  induce  them 
to  open  their  books  and  afford  the  necessary  informa- 
tion. If  the  peasant  of  the  Kammer  wishes  to 
escape  a  day's  labour,  a  fat  capon,  or  a  dozen  fresh 
eggs  make  the  overseer  of  the  Kammer  forget  to 
call  him  out;  if  his  land  is  bad  or  wet,  and  if  a  por- 
tion in  the  neighbourhood  farmed  by  the  Kammer 
be  better,  a  few  florins  adroitly  distributed  to  the 
overseer,  steward,  valuer,  clerks,  and  commissioners, 
make  them  all  think  it  for  the  Kammer's  benefit 
to  exchange  the  good  land  for  the  bad.  In  many 
parts  where  this  corrupt  system  has  been  carried 
out  to  its  full  extent,  the  peasant  has  no  idea,  when 
any  favour  of  this  kind  is  refused  him,  that  it  has 
been  denied  from  a  sense  of  its  injustice,  but 

*  These  estates  must  not  be  confounded  with  the  Fiscal  or 
Crown  Estates ;  a  vast  and  inalienable  property,  from  which  a 
great  part  of  the  King  of  Hungary's  revenues  are  derived. 



believes  only  that  the  offered  bribe  has  not  been 
high  enough.  So  openly  is  this  system  pursued, 
that  it  is  a  matter  of  constant  joke  among  the 
officers  themselves.  The  knowledge  of  these  prac- 
tices has  produced  such  a  want  of  confidence  on 
the  part  of  the  superior  members  of  the  Kammer 
in  their  subalterns,  that  they  have  put  a  stop  to 
everything  like  improvement  in  the  lands  of  Go- 
vernment, as  affording  only  additional  opportunities 
for  robbery  on  the  part  of  their  officers.  Many 
very  worthy  officers — for  honourable  men  are  to  be 
found  even  under  such  corrupting  circumstances — 
disgusted  at  this  want  of  energy  at  the  source,  dis- 
pirited by  the  damp  thrown  upon  every  scheme  they 
have  proposed  for  improving  the  property,  and  in- 
creasing the  revenue,  and  irritated  at  being  suspect- 
ed of  crimes  they  are  incapable  of,  have  sunk  into  in- 
active followers  of  a  bad  system,  instead  of  becoming 
what  they  might  have  been,  its  efficient  reformers. 
I  remember  a  steward  one  day  pointing  out  to  me 
some  beautifully  rich  land,  overgrown  with  thorns, 
in  one  of  the  loveliest  valleys  of  the  Banat.  "  You 
see  the  riches  the  soil  offers  us  here,"  said  he ;  "  you 
observe  that  the  peasants  sow  nothing  but  maize, 
and  that  the  greater  portion  of  the  land  is  useless. 
We  have  not  even  wheat  for  our  own  use.  Shocked 
at  so  great  a  waste,  and  convinced  that  the  soil 
would  produce  wheat,  I  tried  the  experiment  on 
ground  before  untilled,  and  raised  as  fine  a  crop  as 
I  could  wish.  In  my  yearly  report,  of  course  this 

G    2 

84  THE   RAMMER. 

was  mentioned,  and  I  suggested  the  importance  of 
more  extended  trials :  would  you  believe  that  I 
received  a  severe  reprimand  for  my  experiment, 
that  the  correspondence  on  the  subject  lasted  two 
years,  and  that,  had  not  the  success  been  so  very 
evident,  I  should  have  lost  my  place  ?  As  it  was, 
I  was  desired  for  the  future  not  to  depart  from 
the  usual  routine  without  positive  orders  from  my 
superiors  ! " 

If  such  is  the  administration  of  estates  which 
have  been  for  years  in  the  hands  of  the  Kammer, 
it  may  easily  be  imagined  how  it  must  be  with  the 
estates  of  the  church  when  the  officers  of  the  Kam- 
mer obtain  a  casual  and  only  temporary  possession 
of  them, — what  glorious  opportunities  for  specula- 
tion !  how  certain  the  officers  would  be  to  make 
the  best  of  their  short  harvest !  and  how  easily 
the  peasants  might  find  their  profit  under  such  a 
stewardship ! 

Now  we  are  on  the  subject  of  the  Kammer,  we 
may  as  well  point  out  another  of  the  inconve- 
niences arising  from  a  bad  system  of  administration. 
The  Government,  oppressed  by  the  greatest  finan- 
cial difficulties,  wishes  to  sell  the  whole  of  the  Kam- 
meral  property  to  pay  some  of  the  state  debts.  I 
ought  to  add,  by  way  of  parenthesis,  that  the  do- 
nation of  these  estates,  as  a  reward  for  public  ser- 
vices, has  become  merely  a  legal  fiction  of  late 
years ;  and  though  it  has  been  frequently  protested 
against  by  the  Diet,  they  really  are  sold  like  any 

THE    KAMMER.  85 

other  property.  Whether  it  is  that  his  Majesty 
does  not  think  any  of  his  subjects'  services  of 
such  sterling  value  as  to  merit  reward,  or  whether 
he  thinks  the  payment  of  a  good  round  sum  into  the 
Royal  exchequer  the  most  acceptable  service  they 
can  render,  I  leave  for  those  to  decide  who  better 
understand  royal  estimations  of  such  matters — but 
so  it  is.*  The  sale,  however,  has  progressed  but 
slowly ;  in  fact,  the  stewards  liked  their  situations, 
the  valuers  were  good  friends  of  the  stewards,  and 
so  the  prices  set  on  the  estates  were  such,  that  few 
were  tempted  to  disturb  them  in  their  possession  : 
only  those  who  wish  to  obtain  the  rights  of  nobi- 
lity, as  rich  citizens,  christened  Jews,  or  foreign 
settlers,  now  buy  land  of  the  exchequer. 

That  the  consequences  have  been  a  serious  injury 
to  Government,  a  great  impediment  to  the  improve- 
ment of  the  country,  and  in  fact  an  advantage  to 
none  but  lazy  and  unjust  stewards,  are  facts  which 
every  one  admits,  but  no  remedy  has  yet  been  applied. 

Temesvar,  the  capital  of  the  Banat,  and  the  win- 
ter residence  of  the  rich  Banatians,  is  one  of  the 
prettiest  towns  I  know  anywhere.  It  has  two  hand- 
some squares,  and  a  number  of  very  fine  build- 
ings. The  county-hall,  the  palace  of  the  liberal  and 

*  Entre  nous,  reader,  I  believe  it  is  better  it  should  remain  so. 
The  king  would  be  responsible  to  no  one  for  the  disposal  of  this 
powerful  source  of  patronage,  and  it  would  naturally  be  exercised 
in  favour  of  political  partisans  of  the  court  party.  In  the  mean 
time  it  is  a  pet  grievance  of  the  Diet,  and  serves  very  well  to 
talk  about 


enlightened  Bishop  of  Csanad,  the  residence  of  the 
commander,  and  the  Town-house,  are  all  remarkable 
for  their  size  and  appearance.  It  was  little  better 
than  a  heap  of  huts  in  1718,  when  Prince  Eugene 
besieged  the  Turks,  who  then  held  it,  and  drove 
them  for  ever  from  this  fair  possession.  At  that 
time,  too,  the  country  round  was  a  great  swamp, 
and  constantly  infested  with  fevers  of  the  most 
fatal  character.  Prince  Eugene  laid  the  plan  of 
the  present  town,  and  commenced  the  fortifications 
by  which  it  is  surrounded.  I  have  no  doubt  the 
defences  are  very  good,  for  there  are  all  manner 
of  angles  and  ditches,  and  forts,  and  bastions,  and 
great  guns,  and  little  guns ;  so  that  wherever  a  man 
goes,  he  has  the  pleasant  impression  that  half-a- 
dozen  muzzles  are  pointing  directly  his  way,  and 
to  an  uninitiated  son  of  peace  that  would  appear  just 
the  impression  a  good  fortification  ought  to  convey. 
It  is  scarcely  necessary  to  remain  half  an  hour  in 
Temesvar,  to  be  convinced  that,  however  success- 
fully Prince  Eugene  may  have  driven  the  Turks 
themselves  from  the  country,  neither  he  nor  his 
soldiers  could  eradicate  the  strong  marks  of  Turkish 
blood  with  which  the  good  people  of  Temesvar  are 
inoculated.  A  black  eye  and  delicately  arched  nose, 
of  a  character  perfectly  eastern,  cross  one's  path 
every  moment.  The  Greek  and  Jewish  families 
too  who  live  here  in  great  numbers,  for  the  sake  of 
trade,  add  to  the  foreign  aspect  of  the  population. 
We  observed  one  or  two  beautiful  heads  under  the 


little  red  Greek  caps,  the  long  braids  of  dark  hair 
mixing  fancifully  with  the  bright  purple  tassels  of 
that  most  beautiful  of  head-dresses.  Of  the  society 
of  Temesvar,  I  can  say  nothing  from  personal  know- 
ledge. Report,  that  scandal- bearing  jade,  rather 
laughs  at  the  costly  display  of  wealth  indulged  in 
by  the  beau  monde  here ;  accuses  it  of  anything  but 
an  excess  of  mental  cultivation  ;  and  sneers  about 
luxury  and  the  fruit  of  newly  acquired  wealth, 
displayed  without  the  taste  which  it  requires  a 
polished  education  and  the  habits  of  good  society 
to  confer.  But-  then,  after  all,  Report  is  pro- 
bably poor  and  envious ;  and  I  have  no  doubt 
Temesvar  has  just  as  good  a  tale  against  her  mean- 
ness and  pride,  and  probably  laughs  just  as  heartily 
about  great  names  and  little  means,  proud  hearts 
and  empty  pockets. 

In  that  corner  of  the  Banat,  between  Temesvar 
and  the  confines  of  Hungary,  on  the  south  and  east, — 
in  other  words,  in  the  beautiful  county  of  Krasso, — 
the  traveller  can  scarcely  fail  to  notice  the  different 
state  of  the  roads  from  those  he  has  been  previously 
accustomed  to.  Some  thirty  years  ago  the  roads  in 
this  same  county  were  impassable,  the  whole  dis- 
trict was  little  better  than  a  den  of  thieves,  and  the 
misery  consequent  on  vice  and  disorder  was  every- 
where most  severely  felt.  Determined  to  remedy 
this  evil,  Government  appointed  as  F6  Ispan  of  the 
county,  Baron  Wenkheim,  a  man  of  enlarged  views 
and  of  great  energy  of  character.  Under  his  direc- 


tion,  affairs  soon  assumed  a  different  aspect.  A 
police  was  formed  and  maintained  with  almost 
military  strictness  of  discipline,  justice  was  adminis- 
tered with  unbending  severity,  and  the  Baron  soon 
succeeded  in  establishing  a  fear  and  respect  for 
the  law  which  it  had  long  wanted.  Security  once 
obtained,  it  became  his  object  to  render  it  perma- 
nent. From  the  scattered  manner  in  which  the 
villages  were  built,  it  was  found  exceedingly  difficult 
to  obtain  evidence  of  a  suspected  person's  move- 
ments ;  those  of  the  peasantry  who  were  anxious  to 
screen  an  offender  from  the  hands  of  justice,  could 
always  plead  the  distance  of  their  dwellings,  as  a 
reason  for  their  alleged  or  real  ignorance  of  his 
movements.  An  order  was  given  for  the  regulation 
of  villages,  by  which  they  were  brought  near  the 
public  roads,  built  in  a  regular  manner,  no  house 
being  allowed  to  be  at  more  than  a  certain  distance 
from  another,  and  every  man  was  thus  brought 
within  the  knowledge  and  observation  of  his  neigh- 
bours. In  case  of  the  trial  of  any  peasant,  his 
immediate  neighbours  were,  and  are  to  this  day, 
summoned  to  give  evidence  of  his  outgoings  and 
incomings,  of  his  character,  means  of  living,  and 
common  occupations.  It  is  obligatory  on  the 
neighbours  to  give  this  evidence ;  and  I  believe, 
they  are  punishable  if  they  do  not  take  due 
notice  of  such  facts.  To  the  legal  antiquary  it 
will  be  scarcely  necessary  to  mention  the  similarity 
of  this  system  to  the  institution  of  frank  pledges, 


or  ti  things,  as  described  by  Hal  lam  to  have  existed 
among  the  Anglo-Saxons,  in  very  remote  times.* 

The  state  of  the  roads  was  another  object  of  his 
attention.  Extensive  lines  of  road  were  laid  down, 
by  which  in  the  course  of  a  few  years,  not  only  all 
the  large  places,  but  every  two  villages  also  would 
be  united  by  a  good  road.  Wenkheim's  doctrine 
was,  that  it  was  better  to  do  such  things  at  once  — 
for  independently  of  the  present  benefit,  it  was 
as  yet  thought  no  hardship  by  the  peasants  that 
they  should  be  made  to  work  at  them,  and  there- 
fore was  none;  but  the  time  was  fast  approaching 
when  the  peasant  would  have  other  ideas  on  such 
matters,  and  what  was  now  easy  might  then  be 
impossible.  These  lines  of  road  are  not  yet  com- 
pleted ;  for  after  Wenkheim's  death,  which  took 
place  before  his  plans  were  executed,  various  causes 
retarded  the  finishing  of  them  :  but  they  are  still  in 
progress,  and  Krasso  is  already  one  of  the  most 
quiet  and  peaceable  parts  of  the  kingdom,  and 
certainly  the  best-furnished  with  roads  of  any 
county  in  Hungary. 

While  on  a  visit  to  Baron  B in  the  neigh- 
bourhood of  Lugos,  we  had  an  opportunity  of  joining 
in  an  amusement  common  enough  in  the  wooded 

*  I  am  not  sure  whether  the  same  rule  extends  to  other  parts 
of  Hungary,  but  I  am  inclined  to  believe  it  does  ;  and  I  think 
that  it  offers  a  more  probable  explanation  of  the  existence  of 
those  large  villages,  and  the  absence  of  single  houses,  than  that 
given  by  Marmont,  who  has  been  pleased  to  theorise  on  this 
subject  after  his  own  particular  fashion. 

90  A   WOLF-HUNT. 

parts  of  the  Banat.  Among  the  baron's  neighbours 
who  had  been  invited  to  meet  us  at  dinner,  there 
was  an  eager  sportsman,  who  of  course  led  the 
conversation  to  his  favourite  theme.  I  had  too 
much  fellow-feeling  not  to  be  a  willing  listener,  and 
glorious  tales  did  he  recount  to  us  of  wolves,  and 
boars,  and  bears  which  had  fallen  before  his  rifle. 
Though  we  were  positively  to  have  started  the  next 
morning,  it  somehow  or  other  happened  that  before 
the  evening  was  over,  we  were  busy  in  giving 
orders  to  have  our  guns  cleaned,  arranging  the  plan 
of  operations,  and  listening  to  our  host's  prepa- 
ratory orders  for  a  wolf-hunt.  On  inquiry  in  the 
village,  he  was  assured  that  wolves  had  been  seen 
and  tracked  in  the  vineyards  only  two  days  before, 
and  every  one  was  quite  certain  there  were  several 
in  the  neighbourhood. 

Now,  although  in  the  Banat  the  peasant  is  not 
obliged  to  attend  his  lord  for  three  days'  hunting, 
as  in  other  parts  of  Hungary,  yet  it  is  rarely  he 
refuses  the  request  to  aid  in  the  sport,  especially 
when  wolves  are  about,  or  when,  as  in  the  present 
case,  he  likes  his  master  and  receives  refreshments 
for  his  trouble.  Accordingly,  when  we  got  up  next 
morning  we  found  no  less  than  a  hundred  peasants 
collected  about  the  house,  waiting  for  us.  As  soon 
as  our  party  had  assembled,  which  consisted  of  some 
of  the  neighbouring  gentry  and  of  the  officers  quar- 
tered at  Lugos,  and  after  a  hearty  breakfast,  which 
would  have  done  honour  to  Scotland,  had  been 

A   WOLF-HUNT.  91 

concluded  with  a  glass  of  Banat  whisky,  sliwowitz, 
out  we  sallied,  three  waggons  and  four  being  in 
attendance  to  conduct  us  to  the  place  of  meeting. 

Here  the  peasants  were  already  collected,  and  an 
old  sportsman  was  arranging  and  pointing  out  their 
stations  as  we  came  up.  Twenty  of  them  were 
furnished  with  guns,  some  of  them  in  a  melancholy 
state  of  infirmity;  but,  as  they  were  principally 
intended  to  frighten  the  game,  it  was  of  little 
consequence :  the  rest  were  to  act  merely  as 

We  made  our  first  cast  in  a  low  wood,  half  gorse, 
half  timber,  which  occupied  the  two  sides  of  a  little 
valley,  and  which  was  traversed  by  the  dry  beds  of 
several  old  water-courses.  Towards  one  part  of 
these  courses  the  drivers  were  to  make  so  as  to 
force  the  game  to  break  in  that  direction ;  and  here, 
at  twenty  or  thirty  yards'  distance  from  each  other, 
we  were  stationed.  As  the  stranger,  I  was  placed 
in  the  position  most  likely  to  have  the  first  shot ; 
and  most  anxiously  did  I  listen  to  the  yells  and 
shouts  of  the  treibers,  as  they  called  to  each  other  to 
enable  them  to  keep  their  lines,  and  to  the  drop- 
ping shots  of  the  jagers,  intended  to  rouse  the 
game  if  any  there  should  be.  It  is  not  the  plea- 
santest  thing  in  the  world  for  an  uncertain  shot  to 
have  half-a-dozen  sportsmen  below  him  on  such  an 
occasion  as  this,  for  the  special  purpose  of  "  wiping 
his  eye,"  should  he  miss  the  first  shot  he  ever  made 
at  a  wolf,  especially  if  he  finds  himself  starting  at 

92  A   WOLF-HUNT. 

the  crack  of  every  dry  bough  and  carrying  his  piece 
to  his  shoulder  at  every  black-bird  that  flutters  from 
her  perch ;  for  though  their  politeness  might  spare 
the  stranger  the  joke  aloud,  a  sportsman's  instinct 
tells  him  they  would  not  enjoy  it  the  less  in  silence. 
In  thinking  over  such  a  scene  afterwards,  it  might 
occur  to  one  that  there  was  some  little  danger 
among  so  many  guns  in  a  thick  wood,  especially 
when  balls  or  slugs  were  chiefly  used ;  but,  at  the 
time,  I  defy  a  man  who  likes  sport  to  plague  himself 
with  such  fancies.  By  degrees  the  shouts  became 
nearer,  but  there  was  nothing  I  could  take  for  a 
view-halloo, — the  which,  though  I  have  no  idea 
what  sort  of  thing  an  Hungarian  peasant  would 
make  of  it,  I  would  be  bound  to  recognize  by  in- 
stinct,—and  at  last  one  treiber  and  then  another 
came  up,  and  the  Treib  was  declared  out. 

Several  times  did  we  make  our  cast  in  different 
woods,  but  still  with  the  same  ill  success,  till  evening 
came  on  when  we  returned  to  bear  the  railings  of 
the  ladies — always  unmerciful  on  luckless  sportsmen. 
So  ended  our  Treib-jagd.  Our  kind  host,  however, 
took  it  quite  to  heart ;  "  Such  ingratitude,"  he  said, 
"  of  the  worthless  beasts!  not  a  year  passes  that  they 
do  not  worry  me  a  colt  or  two ;  and  now,  on  the 
only  occasion  when  I  have  wished  to  see  their 
grinning  faces,  not  one  would  make  his  appearance." 
Let  me  add,  that  when  I  met  him  next  year  he  was 
still  inconsolable  at  the  disappointment,  though  he 
had  taken  pretty  good  revenge  a  month  after  our 

A   WOLF-HUNT.  93 

visit,  when  they  had  killed  seven  in  one  day  out  of 
the  very  wood  we  first  beat. 

A  good  dinner — a  necessary  conclusion  to  hunt- 
ing, be  the  country  what  it  may — soon  drove  all  the 
thoughts  of  disappointment  out  of  our  heads,  and 
we  were  only  sorry  we  could  not  stay  to  accept  the 
invitation  to  a  boar-hunt,  which  our  sporting  friend 
of  the  preceding  evening  would  fain  have  pressed 
on  us. 




Valley  of  the  Temes — Wallack  Beauty.— Ovid's  Tower.— Iron 
Works  at  Ruskberg. — Effects  of  regular  Work  and  regular  Pay. 
— Reformers  in  Hungary.  —  Iron  Bridge.  —  Iron-gate  Pass, 
between  Hungary  and  Transylvania. — Hospitality. — Varhely 
the  Ulpia  Trajana  of  the  Romans. — The  Dacians  under  their 
native  kings— conquered  by  Trajan.  — Wallack  Language  like 
the  Italian.  —  Wallacks  of  Dacian,  not  Roman,  Origin.  — 
Roman  Remains  at  Varhely. — Amphitheatre. — Mosaics. 

INSTEAD  of  entering  Transylvania  by  any  of  the 
usual  routes,  we  proceeded  from  Mehadia  along  the 
banks  of  the  Temes,  through  some  most  lovely 
scenery,  and  along  as  good  a  road  as  any  in  England, 



— for  we  were  still  in  the  military  frontiers, — to 
Karansebes,  and  then  turning  to  the  east  we  took 
the  direction  of  the  Iron-gate  pass.  The  valley  of 
the  Temes  is  deficient  in  grandeur,  but  it  is  wild 
and  wooded.  Twice  narrowing  itself  into  a  rocky 
pass  where  the  road  has  been  won  from  the  moun- 
tain side,  and  again  widening  into  meadows  and 
cornfields,  it  presents  every  change  of  colour,  and 
every  variety  of  scene  which  can  add  charms  to  a 
landscape.  The  peasants  too  in  their  antique  cos- 
tumes were  still  new  to  us,  and  the  women  were,  or 
at  least  we  thought  them,  remarkably  beautiful.  As 
we  walked  along  the  streets  of  Karansebes  during 
the  market-day,  the  number  of  beauties  we  met  was 
extraordinary.  It  is  curious  how  various  are  the 
opinions  different  travellers  form  of  the  beauty  of  a 
people.  One  passes  along  a  road  and  meets  nothing 
but  pretty  faces, — as  certainly  was  the  case  with 
us  here  ;  another  follows  and  sees  not  a  beauty 
in  the  whole  country.  This  struck  me  the  more 
forcibly,  as  I  again  (afterwards)  passed  over  this 
very  road,  and  should  certainly  have  formed  but  an 
ill  opinion  of  the  people's  comeliness  from  my 
second  visit. 

To  the  lovers  of  classical  reminiscences,  Ovid's 
tower  is  a  name  of  irresistible  attraction.  About 
two  miles  from  Karansebes,  on  a  hill  at  the  foot 
of  the  mountain  Mika,  is  a  small  square  castle, 

Non  domus  apta  satis, 
which    has    obtained    the    popular    title   of  Ovid's 


Tower,  and  whence  are  said  to  have  issued  those 
sweet  lamentations  at  his  cruel  destiny  which  still 
keep  a  world  in  admiration.  I  know  the  learned 
say  his  place  of  banishment  was  on  the  other  side 
of  the  Danube  at  Tomi,  on  the  borders  of  the 
Black  Sea.  But  I  still  am  inclined  to  hope  that 
some  part  of  Ovid's  sufferings  might  find  a  location 
here;  —  where  indeed  could  the  poor  poet  have 
cried  with  greater  truth 

Lassus  in  extremis  jaceo  populisque,  locisque  : 
Heu  quam  vicina  est  ultima  terra  mihi ! 

It  is  pleasant  to  believe  that  the  Roman  soldiers, 
when  the  conquests  of  Trajan,  some  half  century 
later,  had  thrown  Dacia  into  their  hands,  paused 
in  their  career  of  victory — for  it  was  along  this 
valley  they  marched — to  visit  the  prison  of  their 
popular  poet,  and  hand  down  the  tradition  of  his 
residence  there  to  the  present  Wallacks. 

A  short  distance  from  Karansebes,  we  turned  off 
the  high-road  to  visit  the  iron-works  at  Ruskberg. 
The  Messieurs  Hoffmann,  Germans  of  great  enter- 
prise, having  purchased  the  estate  of  Ruskberg  from 
the  Government,  have  established  in  this  wild 
valley  a  colony  of  now  no  less  than  two  thousand 
five  hundred  persons,  who  are  actively  engaged  in 
their  works.  Though  the  iron-foundry  is  the  prin- 
cipal object  of  their  industry,  the  Messieurs  Hoff- 
mon  have  by  no  means  confined  themselves  to  it. 
Having  found  ores  of  silver,  lead,  and  copper,  as  well 


as  iron  in  their  valley,  they  work  them  all.  With 
that  good  fortune  too,  which  so  often  attends  the 
genius  of  enterprise,  they  discovered  that  a  part 
of  the  rock  overhanging  the  little  stream  which 
bends  its  course  through  the  valley,  was  just  of  the 
height  required  for  casting  shot.  Now  it  hap- 
pened that  in  all  Hungary,  Transylvania,  and  Wal- 
lachia,  there  was  no  shot-tower,  though  sporting  is 
a  very  common  amusement,  so  the  Hoffmans  were 
at  once  able  to  establish  a  trade  which  consumed 
not  only  all  their  own  lead,  but  obliged  them  to  pur- 
chase more.  Their  shot-tower  is  simply  a  fine  crag 
one  hundred  and  forty-four  feet  high.  At  the  top 
is  a  small  wooden  house,  in  which  the  lead  is  melted 
and  allowed  to  pass  through  the  cullender-shaped 
mould,  whence  the  shot  falls  directly  into  a  little 
basin  formed  in  the  brook  below. 

The  iron-works  are  higher  up  the  valley,  and 
there  we  found  quite  a  second  colony  composed 
of  all  nations,  speaking  all  languages ;  Magyars 
and  Wallacks,  Germans  and  Gipsies,  Sclaves  and 
Frenchmen,  were  working  together  apparently  in 
the  greatest  harmony.  I  was  much  pleased  with 
the  account  these  gentlemen  gave  us  of  the  conduct 
and  character  of  the  different  races  employed  by 
them ;  for  it  bore  me  out  in  an  old  theory  of  mine, 
that  there  is  more  good  than  evil  in  the  worst  of  men, 
the  first  being  an  essential  part  of  their  nature,  the 
last  mostly  the  fruit  of  circumstances.  At  Rusk- 
berg,  though  the  various  nations  presented  marked 

VOL.  II.  H 


national  distinctions,  yet  the  same  treatment  and 
the  same  position  have  produced  nearly  the  same 
effects  in  all.  By  good  management,  regular  pay- 
ment, and  constant  employment,  the  lazy  Wallack 
had  become  an  industrious  artisan,  and  the  wander- 
ing, roguish,  degraded  gipsy,  a  clever  steady  work- 
man. Yet  many  times  have  I  heard  injudicious 
philanthropists  in  Hungary  declare  how  impossible 
it  was  to  make  the  Wallacks  labour,  and  that 
merely  because  they  had  failed  in  some  pet  scheme 
for  changing  in  a  day  their  habits  and  modes  of 
life,  the  work  of  centuries  !  How  many  kind-hearted 
people  have  given  clothes  to  the  naked  gipsy,  and 
offered  him  the  shelter  of  a  roof,  and  have  branded 
him  afterwards  as  incapable  of  civilization,  and  as 
insensible  to  the  commonest  feelings  of  gratitude ; 
because  he  sold  the  one  to  supply  himself  with 
what  he  needed  more,  or  forsook  the  other  to 
seek  some  occupation  less  foreign  to  his  tastes  and 
habits  ! 

The  Reformer's  is  always  an  arduous  task ;  but 
when  his  efforts  are  directed  to  the  improvement  of 
the  manners  and  the  character  of  men,  it  is  a  labour 
to  which  very  few  are  equal.  To  be  able  to  enter 
into  the  thoughts  and  feelings  of  others — to  appre- 
ciate circumstances,  in  which  one  has  never  been 
placed  —  to  judge  of  the  wants  and  necessities  to 
which  they  give  rise  —  to  seize  the  points  by 
which  men  may  be  influenced  —  to  eradicate  the 
bad  and  leave  the  good  parts  of  their  character 


untouched — to  devote  heart  and  soul,  without  a 
thought  of  self-interest  to  such  a  work,  and  then 
to  bear  cheerfully  the  suspicion,  the  calumny,  the 
opposition  of  those  for  whom  one  has  laboured, — 
these  are  some  of  the  qualities  required  by  him 
who  undertakes  to  reform  mankind.  As  for  those 
philanthropic  absolutists,  who  insist  on  making  men 
happy  either  in  this  world  or  the  next,  whether 
they  will  or  not,  I  hold  them  to  be  the  greatest 
enemies  of  their  species.  If,  instead  of  enforcing  on 
man  a  happiness  which  does  not  suit  him,  they 
would  but  content  themselves  with  removing  all 
those  obstacles  which  bad  laws  and  the  false  insti- 
tutions of  society  impose  between  poverty  and  im- 
provement ;— if  they  would  but  busy  themselves  in 
placing  man  in  a  position  to  help  himself,  and  take 
care  to  show  him  an  example  in  their  own  persons 
of  those  virtues  they  are  most  anxious  he  should 
practise  ;  I  am  convinced  that  the  spirit  of  moral 
advancement,  and  the  desire  of  bettering  his  con- 
dition, are  principles  so  strongly  implanted  in  human 
nature,  that  they  must  prevail.  Nay,  so  certain  do 
I  feel  of  this  improvability  in  the  human  race,  that 
I  have  often  thought  the  great  men  of  the  earth 
must  needs  have  employed  all  their  wit  and  cun- 
ning to  invent  wicked  laws  to  depress  the  little 
men,  or  the  little  would  long  ere  this  have  been 
much  greater  than  they  are, — though  it  is  just  pos- 
sible that  the  great  might  have  grown  somewhat 
less  by  the  process. 


But  it  is  time  to  return  to  the  iron-works.  The 
Messieurs  Hoffman  showed  us  the  parts  of  an  iron 
bridge  they  were  constructing  for  Mehadia,  on 
a  plan  similar  to  one  already  erected  at  Lugos. 
This  bridge  was  said  to  have  been  invented  by  one 
of  their  workmen,  a  German,  who  constructed  as 
a  model  a  small  bridge  over  the  brook  of  Ruskberg. 
The  model  bridge,  which  has  been  erected  some 
years,  and  is  in  constant  use,  is  about  eighteen  feet 
long  by  four  wide,  and  weighs  only  1  cent.  The 
principle — a  new  one,*  so  far  as  I  am  aware — de- 
pends on  the  tension  of  the  arch  being  maintained 
by  the  binding-rods,  which  unite  the  two  ends,  and 
which  is  consequently  increased  the  greater  the 
weight  imposed.  It  will  be  better  understood  by 
supposing  two  strung  bows  laid  on  piers  to  repre- 
sent the  bridge,  the  road  being  formed  only  by 
planks  resting  on  the  strings.  This  bridge  has  the 
advantages  of  being  the  lightest  and  cheapest,  of 
affording  the  greatest  quantity  of  space  below,  and 
of  requiring,  at  the  same  time,  the  least  height  in 
the  piers  supporting  it.  Three  or  four  of  these 
bridges  are  now  erected  in  different  parts  of  Hun- 
gary, varying  in  some  minute  details  only,  and  have 
been  found  to  answer  extremely  well. 

Another  novelty,  at  least  to  me,  which  their 
works  presented  was  this.  Requiring  a  great  deal 

*  Having  shown  a  drawing  of  this  bridge  to  Mr.  Tierney 
Clark,  he  assures  me  that  a  similar  one  exists  in  Yorkshire,  and 
that  it  has  been  built  many  years. 


of  wood  for  building,  they  fell  their  own  timber,  saw 
it  in  their  own  mills,  and,  to  avoid  the  inconvenience 
arising  from  its  greenness,  they  dry  it  before  using  it. 
This  is  done  by  placing  the  planks  in  a  small  closed 
building,  into  which  a  stream  of  hot  steam  is  di- 
rected, which,  entering  the  wood,  drives  out  its 
natural  juices — I  suppose  on  the  principle  of  endos- 
mose  and  exosmose — penetrating  the  vessels  in 
which  they  are  contained,  and  supplying  their  place. 
The  moisture  from  the  steam  itself  is  easily  got  rid 
of  by  a  little  exposure  to  the  sun.  Supposing  the 
shrinking  of  new  wood  to  occur  from  the  gradual 
drying  out  of  these  juices — and  it  is  highly  pro- 
bable that  in  the  close  texture  of  wood,  viscous 
fluids,  confined  in  their  proper  vessels,  would  re- 
quire much  time  to  exude — the  theory  seems  plau- 
sible; and,  what  is  still  more,  Messieurs  Hoffman 
assured  me  that  experience  had  proved  it  to  be  cor- 
rect, for  wood  so  treated  did  not  shrink  afterwards, 
nor  was  it  in  any  respect  inferior  to  old  wood. 

It  is  unnecessary  to  speak  of  all  the  works  we 
saw  carried  on  here — the  smelting-works,  crushing- 
mills,  washing-floors,  iron-hammers,  smelting-fur- 
nace,  casting-floors,  moulding-rooms,  shot-sorting, 
engine-making,  sa wing-mills,  indeed,  almost  all  the 
ruder  processes  to  which  the  working  of  metals 
leads.  We  were  pressed  to  stay  another  day,  and  to 
visit  the  mines  which  were  still  higher  up  the  valley, 
and  which  are  said  to  be  particularly  interesting  to 
the  geologist,  from  some  peculiarities  in  the  strata 


which  they  present,  as  well  as  a  quarry  of  fine 
white  marble,  which  has  been  used  by  the  statuary; 
but  we  were  already  in  October,  and  the  traveller 
can  scarcely  count  on  fine  weather  in  Hungary  after 
the  commencement  of  November,  so  that  we  were 
forced  reluctantly  to  decline. 

The  border  tract  between  Hungary  and  Tran- 
sylvania could  not  boast  the  smoothest  of  roads ;  but 
we  arrived  safely  at  the  summit  of  the  low  moun- 
tain pass,  where  a  Wallack  cross,  curiously  carved 
with  the  bastard  Greek  letters  which  the  Wallacks 
use,  the  top  covered  in  by  a  neat  shingle-roof,  some- 
thing like  Robinson  Crusoe's  umbrella,  marked  the 
boundary.  On  the  Hungarian  side  we  had  the 
cold  bare  mountains,  ripening  in  the  distance  into 
wooded  hills,  beyond  which  we  could  just  perceive 
the  rich  plain  of  the  Banat ;  while,  towards  Transyl- 
vania, a  deep  mountain  gorge,  whose  yellow-tinted 
hanging  woods  buried  its  depth  in  mystery,  carried 
the  eye  over  a  succession  of  lovely  hills  and  valleys, 
to  which  the  deep  warm  shadows  of  an  autumnal 
sunset  lent  a  charm  of  peculiar  grace  and  beauty. 

At  the  narrowest  part  of  this  pass  the  Romans 
are  said  to  have  had  literally  an  iron  gate,  which 
gave  its  name  to  the  place.  At  present  not  a  re- 
main of  any  kind  exists ;  but  it  is  curious  that  three 
of  the  most  difficult  passages  which  Trajan  en- 
countered in  his  expedition  against  Dacia in  the 

Balkan,  on  the  Danube  below  Orsova,  and  at  the 
entrance    of  Transylvania — should    all    retain   the 

VARHELY.  103 

name  of  Iron-Gate  Pass,  in  the  language  of  the 
common  people,  to  the  present  day.  This  pass  has 
been  alternately  contested  by  Dacian,  Roman,  Turk, 
and  Christian ;  and  many  are  the  scenes  of  savage 
glory  it  has  witnessed;  many  the  dying  groans  it 
has  received.  Happily,  these  times  are  gone  by; 
and  the  Borderer,  who  now  keeps  his  solitary  guard 
on  the  contested  point,  finds  no  more  formidable 
enemy  than  the  poor  salt-smuggler ;  and  the  pass 
itself  is  only  a  terror  to  the  horses,  who  can  hardly 
drag  their  burthen  through  its  deep  and  clayey 
roads.  We  were  fortunate  to  have  passed  it  before 
night,  which  overtook  us  rather  suddenly  as  we 
approached  the  village  of  Varhely. 

Here  we  were  willing  to  stay,  could  quarters  be 
obtained ;  but  hearing  that  nothing  like  an  inn 
was  to  be  found,  we  gave  orders  to  proceed  on  to 
Hatszeg,  though  the  driver  declared  his  horses  were 
tired,  and  the  road  worse  than  ever.  During  the 
conversation  which  ensued,  an  old  Wallack  joined 
the  party,  and  offered  his  opinion  on  the  folly  of  my 
proposition  very  unreservedly,  wondering  why  we 
could  not  be  content  to  stop  at  the  house  of  the 
Dumnie  (Dominus)  —  the  squire  of  the  village. 
Now,  though  I  knew  that  Transylvania  was  the 
very  home  of  hospitality,  I  did  not  like  to  demand 
it  quite  so  unceremoniously;  but  the  peasant  saved 
me  the  necessity,  for,  trotting  off,  he  returned  in  a 
few  seconds  with  an  invitation  from  his  master,  for 
us  to  make  use  of  his  house  during  our  stay. 

104  VARHELY. 

The  Wallack's  Dumnie  was  an  Hungarian  noble  of 
the  poorer  class,  possessing  one-third  of  the  village 
of  Varhely,  and  living  in  the  style  of  one  of  our 
smallest  farmers.  The  family  consisted  of  the 
young  master,  his  mother  and  two  sisters,  who, 
though  they  spoke  only  Hungarian  and  Wallack, 
came  out  to  receive  us,  and  assured  us  that  we  were 
heartily  welcome.  The  house  was  a  pretty  building 
of  one  story,  raised  four  feet  above  the  ground, 
and  was  entered  by  a  handsome  portico.  It  con- 
sisted of  the  kitchen,  which  was  half  filled  with 
the  high  hearth,  two  rooms  on  each  side,  and  below 
store-rooms  and  cow-houses  ;  the  whole  being  en- 
closed by  a  garden  on  one  side,  and  by  the  large 
farm-yard  and  buildings  on  tlie  other.  We  were 
shown  into  the  best  rooms,  usually  occupied  by  the 
family  as  sleeping-rooms ;  and,  in  a  very  short  time, 
the  beds  were  covered  with  the  whitest  linen,  while 
the  table  offered  a  hearty  supper  to  console  us  for 
the  cold  dinner  we  had  taken  during  the  morning, 
and  to  satisfy  the  keen  appetite  the  mountain  air 
had  blessed  us  with. 

Varhely,  or  Gradistie,  in  the  language  of  the 
Wallacks,  is  a  place  of  so  much  interest,  that  we 
thought  ourselves  singularly  fortunate  in  obtaining 
our  present  shelter.  Though  now  a  miserable  Wal- 
lack village,  Varhely  occupies  the  site  of  Sarmise- 
gethusa,  the  former  capital  of  the  Dacians,  the 
residence  of  Decebalus  their  king ;  and  on  the  ruins 
of  which,  Ulpia  Trajana  was  founded, — the  imperial 


city  which  Trajan  destined  as  the  seat  of  govern- 
ment, for  his  conquests  beyond  the  Danube  ! 

The  name  of  Dacia  scarcely  makes  its  appearance 
in  history,  till  the  time  of  Alexander,  when  the 
Dacians,  under  their  King  Sarmis,  refusing  to  sub- 
mit to  the  conqueror's  arms,  their  kingdom  was 
ravaged,  and  peace  with  difficulty  obtained.  This 
Sarmis  is  said  to  have  built  the  town,  which  was 
named  from  him,  and  this  is  rendered  almost  cer- 
tain by  a  gold  coin  found  near  Thorda,  arid  which 
bears  his  effigy,  with  the  words  2APMI2  BAZIA 
on  one  side,  and  on  the  reverse,  the  fortified  gate  of 
a  town.  On  the  division  of  Alexander's  conquests 
among  his  generals,  Thrace,  together  with  the 
countries  on  either  side  the  Danube,  fell  to  the 
share  of  Lysimachus.  But  Dacia  had  been  over- 
run, not  subdued ;  and  the  new  king  found  his 
subjects  so  little  inclined  to  accept  his  rule,  that  he 
was  obliged  to  march  against  them  at  the  head  of  a 
large  force.  Dromichretes,  the  successor  of  Sarmis, 
was  prepared  for  the  attack,  and  succeeded,  not 
only  in  resisting  the  Grecian  army,  but  in  capturing 
its  chief,  and  appropriating  the  rich  plunder  of  his 

It  is  probable  that  at  this  time,  either  from  the 
plunder  of  the  camp,  or  from  the  ransom  of  his  pri- 
soners, the  Dacian  King  obtained  an  immense  trea- 
sure, for  on  two  separate  occasions, — if  I  am  rightly 
informed,  once  in  1545,  and  again  about  twenty 
years  since,  —  many  thousand  gold  coins  have  been 

106  THE   DACIANS. 

discovered  in  this  neighbourhood,  some  of  them 
bearing  the  name  of  Lysimachus,  and  others  the 
word  KO2HN  from  the  name  of  the  town  Cossea 
in  Thrace,  where  they  were  struck.  I  am  in  pos- 
session of  some  of  these  coins;  and  though  many  were 
melted  down  by  the  Jews,  in  Wallachia,  to  whom 
they  were  conveyed  across  the  frontier  in  loaves  of 
bread,  they  are  still  very  common,  and  are  fre- 
quently used  by  the  Transylvanians  for  signet  rings, 
and  other  ornaments. 

From  this  time,  for  nearly  two  hundred  and  fifty 
years,  the  history  of  Dacia  is  almost  a  blank,  but 
in  the  commencement  of  Augustus's  reign  we  find 
these  barbarians,  led  on  by  their  King  Cotyso, —  the 
same  probably  whom  Ovid  addresses, 

Regia  progenies,  cui  nobilitatis  origo, 
Nomen  in  Eumolpi  pervenit  usque,  Coty, 

Fama  loquax  vestras  si  jam  pervenit  ad  aures, 
Me  tibi  finitimi  parte  jacere  soli  ! — 

rushing  down  into  Italy,  and  committing  such  ra- 
vages as  to  fix  the  attention  of  Rome  on  them 
as  dangerous  enemies.  Engaged  for  some  years 
in  frequent  wars,  with  various  fortune,  they  obtained 
at  last  so  decided  an  advantage  over  the  weakness 
of  Domitian  as  to  reduce  that  Emperor  to  accept 
a  peace,  accompanied  by  the  most  disgraceful 
conditions,  and  among  others  the  payment  of  a 
yearly  tribute  to  Dacia.  Decebalus,  however,  the 
then  King  of  the  Dacians,  had,  in  the  eyes  of 
Rome,  merited  his  destruction  by  his  success,  and 


no  sooner  did  Trajan  assume  the  Imperial  purple 
than  he  determined  to  restore  to  its  brightness  the 
tarnished  honour  of  the  empire,  and  accordingly 
prepared  an  expedition  against  Dacia  which  he 
headed  himself. 

Trajan  seems  to  have  passed  through  Pannonia 
(Hungary),  to  have  crossed  the  Theiss,  and  followed 
the  course  of  the  Maros  into  Transylvania.  His 
first  great  battle  was  on  the  Crossfield,  near  Thor- 
da.  After  an  obstinate  contest,  the  Dacians  were 
completely  routed,  and  Decebalus  obliged  to  take 
refuge  in  Sarmisegethusa.  The  Crpssfield  is  still 
called  by  the  Wallack  peasants  the  "  Prat  de  Tra- 
jan" (Pratum  Trajani),  a  curious  instance  of  the 
tenacity  of  a  people's  recollections.  Reduced  to 
the  last  extremity,  Decebalus  was  obliged  to  ac- 
cept humiliating  conditions,  which  he  took  the  first 
opportunity  of  breaking.  Trajan,  however,  had  de- 
termined that  Dacia  should  form  a  Roman  pro- 
vince, and  he  at  once  set  out  again  to  complete 
his  conquest. 

Better  acquainted  with  the  geography  of  the 
country,  Trajan  chose  a  nearer  route,  and  one  by 
which  he  might  at  once  reach  his  enemy's  capital. 
It  was  on  this  occasion  that  he  crossed  the  Danube, 
below  the  Iron  Gate,  where  his  famous  bridge  was 
afterwards  built,  and  sending  one  part  of  his  army 
along  the  Aluta,  he  himself  seems  to  have  followed 
the  valley  which  now  leads  from  Orsova,  by  Meha- 
dia  and  Karansebes,  over  the  Iron-gate  Pass,  direct 


to  Sarmisegethusa.  On  the  column  of  Trajan,  at 
Rome,  the  chief  events  of  these  two  campaigns  are 
most  minutely  depicted,  and  thus  completely  do 
away  with  many  fables  which  historians  have  ap- 
pended to  the  story.  It  appears  that  the  Dacians, 
unable  any  longer  to  defend  their  capital,  set  fire  to 
it,  and  fled  to  the  mountains.  Decebalus,  finding  it 
impossible  to  escape  his  pursuers,  stabbed  himself 
and  many  of  his  followers  destroyed  themselves  by 
poison  to  avoid  subjection  to  the  Romans.  It  is 
much  to  be  desired  that  the  history  of  this  war 
should  be  written  by  one  acquainted  with  the  topo- 
graphy and  antiquities  of  Transylvania,  as  well  as 
with  the  materials  which  Rome  and  her  writers  afford. 
Trajan,  when  he  had  completed  the  subjugation 
of  the  country,  turned  his  attention  to  the  security 
of  the  new  province.  The  present  Transylvania 
became  Dacia  Mediterranea ;  Wallachia  and  Mol- 
davia, Dacia  Transalpina;  and  the  Banat,  Dacia 
Ripensis.  The  bridge  over  the  Danube,  the  road 
cut  in  the  rock  along  its  banks,  the  formation  of 
colonies  at  Varhely,  Karlsburg,  Thorda,  and  several 
other  places,  and  the  connecting  them  by  roads, 
remains  of  which  still  exist,  were  the  means  he 
employed  to  perpetuate  the  power  of  Rome,  in  the 
newly-acquired  territory.* 

*  It  has  been  said  that  Trajan,  through  the  treachery  of  a  Da- 
cian,  discovered  the  hidden  treasures  of  Decebalus,  which  he  had 
concealed  in  the  bed  of  a  brook,  having  turned  its  course  to  enable 
him  to  place  them  there.  This  story  derives  some  confirmation 
from  the  column,  on  which,  after  the  taking  of  the  city,  are  seen 


Notwithstanding  the  resolution  of  Hadrian  to 
forsake  the  conquests  of  his  predecessor,  and  the 
steps  he  actually  took  for  that  purpose,  the  Romans 
jem  to  have  remained  masters  of  Dacia,  till  the 
;ime  of  Aurelian,  when  they  finally  retired  across  ^ 
ihe  Danube,  and  gave  up  Dacia  to  the  Goths.  \(JH 

Although  the  duration  of  the  Roman  empire  in 
lis  country  was  much  shorter  than  in  many  others  n^- 
>f  Europe — about  one  hundred  and  seventy  years  *v 
only, — yet  in   none   did    they   leave  such   striking    ' 
remains  of  their  domination,  especially  in  the  Ian-    /5   & 
guage,  as  here.     The  Wallack  of  the  present  day       fv 

Us  himself  "Rwmunyi?  and  retains  a  traditional      77h 
[pride  of  aiic^s^rj,_inspiteofhis  present  degrada-       Wt 

The  language  now  spoken  by  all  the  people 
of  this  nation  is  soft,  abounding  in  vowels,  and  de- 
riving most  of  its  words  from  the  Latin.  The  pro- 
nunciation  resembles  much  the  Italian,  and  it  is 
extraordinary  that  the  inflexions  and  terminations 
of  the  words  have  a  much  greater  similarity  to  the 
modern  language  of  Italy  than  to  their  Latin  origi- 
nal. This  would  tend  to  prove,  as  no  connection 
has  existed  between  the  countries  since  that  time, 
either  that  the  vulgar  language  of  Rome  was  more  lj\ 
simple  than  we  commonly  imagine,  or  that,  in  both  y 

cases,  the  changes  have  been  the  natural  ones  to 
which  a  language  submits,  on  its  being  mixed  with 

several  horses  bearing  to  Trajan  panniers  filled  with  treasures, 
principally  consisting  of  rich  cups  and  vessels.  The  coins  found 
in  1545,  were  actually  discovered  in  the  bed  of  this  very  brook. 


others  and  simplified  by  the  use  of  an  uneducated 
or  foreign  people.  Nothing  is  so  complex  in  the 
quantity  of  its  inflexions  as  a  pure  language,  nothing 
so  simple  as  a  compound  and  mixed  one.  (^Someyof 
the  Wallack  words  are,  I  believe,  Sclavish,  which 
may  be  accounted  for  by  supposing  the  Sclavish 
to  have  been  the  original  language  of  the  Dacians 
(and  from  certain  Sclavish  names  of  rivers  and 
mountains  here,  as  well  as  in  Wallachia,  I  am 
inclined  to  believe  this  the  case),  or  it  may  be 
owing  to  the  later  mixture  of  the  races,  but  the 
preponderance  of  Latin  is  so  great  as  to  strike  a 
foreigner  immediately,  and  to  render  the  acquisition 
of  the  language  very  easy.  On  one  occasion,  being 
without  a  servant  who  spoke  the  language,  I  learned 
enough,  for  a  traveller's  needs,  in  a  day  or  two, 
and  when  at  a  loss,  I  always  resorted  to  Italian, 
which  was  often  understood,  and  with  a  slight 
change  of  sound  became  Wallack.* 

While  I  am  dabbling  in  the  philosophy  of  lan- 
guage, let  me  not  forget  a  trait  which,  on  my 
return  from  Turkey,  struck  me  very  forcibly.  From 
the  Turk  the  Wallack  has  borrowed  but  few  words ; 
but  one  familiar  sound  has  become  so  fixed  in  his 
vocabulary,  that  he  will  never  lose  it ;  and  it  marks, 
as  well  as  a  hundred  pages,  the  relation  in  which 
the  Turk  and  Wallack  stood  to  each  other.  This 
little  word  is,  "  haide ! "  In  Constantinople  it  is 

*  I  may  instance,  bun  cai,  for  buoni  cavalli ;  and  apa,  for 



the  Frenchman's  "  va-t~en"  to  the  beggar-boy,  the 
Austrian's  "marchir"  to  his  dog,  our  "come  up'' 
to  a  horse,  or  the  "  begone"  of  an  angry  master  to 
his  servant — yet  none  of  these  languages  have  any 
one  word  of  command  applied  alike  to  man  or 
beast;  but  such  is  the  "haide"  of  the  Turk,  and 
such  the  word  he  hath  bequeathed  to  the  Wallack 
language, —  a  lasting  monument  of  his  imperious 
sway.  However  the  Wallack  poet  may  in  after- 
ages  gloss  over  the  fact  of  his  people's  slavery,  his 
own  tongue  will  belie  him  as  often  as  the  familiar 
"  haide"  escapes  from  his  lips. 

It  is  difficult  to  say  how  far  the  Wallack  of  the 
present  day  has  a  title  to  his  claim  of  Roman  de- 
scent.  It  was  natural  enough  that  the  half-civilized 
\Dacians  should  regard  with  contempt  and  hatred 
the  savage  hordes  which  succeeded  the  Romans,  and 
although  conquered,  that  they  should  proudly  cherish 
the  name  of  /Rumunyi. )  The  greater  number  of  the 
[Roman  colonists  retired  across  the  Danube,  but  it  is 
possible  that  some  may  have  remained  behind,  and 
from  such  the  Wallacks  of  Hatszeg  claim  their 
descent.  The  rest,  I  believe,  are  content  with  the 
honour  of  that  mixture  of  Roman  and  Dacian  blood 
which  one  may  naturally  suppose  to  have  taken 
place  between  the  conquerors  and  the  conquered. 

That  this  admixture  of  races,  however,  has  had 
so  great  an  influence  as  travellers  have  been  led 
to  think,  from  observing  the  difference  of  features 
between  the  Wallack  and  his  neighbours,  the 



Magyars  and  Saxons,  I  am  much  inclined  to  doubt, 
for  the  features  of  the  Wallacks  are  more  like 
those  of  the  Dacian  of  Trajan's  column,  than  those 
either  of  the  Romans  or  of  the  modern  Italians. 
The  more  I  think  of  the  matter,  the  more  I  am 
convinced  that  the  majority  of  the  Wallacks  are 
true  Dacians;  and  as  the  best  proof,  I  subjoin  two 
Wallack  heads,  sketched  without  any  reference  to 
the  question,  which  if  the  reader  be  sufficiently 
curious  in  the  matter  to  compare  them  with  the 
figures  of  Dacians  and  Romans  engraved  from 
Trajan's  column,  he  will  find  little  difficulty,  I  think, 
in  saying  to  which  people  they  belong. 

Preceded  by  our  host,  we  commenced  a  survey 
of  Ulpia  Trajana.  Just  beyond  the  village,  we 
found  a  large  space  of  several  acres  covered  with 
stones  of  all  sizes,  which  had  once  been  used  in 


building;  and  in  some  places  we  discovered  the 
arched  roofs  of  vaulted  chambers,  which  had  been  in 
several  places  broken  into,  but  they  seemed  only  to 
be  the  lower  parts  of  the  buildings,  and  possessed 
little  interest.  This  space  is  somewhat  higher  than 
the  rest  of  the  country,  and  has  been  surrounded 
by  a  ditch  and  mound,  which  we  found  extended  a 
quarter  of  a  mile  into  the  village.  It  is  called 
by  the  people  the  Csetatie,  fortified  place  or  castle ; 
but  to  what  age  it  belongs,  or  what  it  may  have 
been,  I  know  not.  A  little  further  on,  in  the  same 
direction,  we  came  upon  the  remains  of  an  am- 
phitheatre. The  outer  walls  are  entirely  covered 
with  earth,  forming  a  grassy  bank  of  about  twelve 
feet  high,  and  surround  an  oval  space  of  about 
seventy-five  yards  long,  by  forty-five  in  its  greatest 
width.  The  arena  is  now  under  plough,  and  pro- 
duces a  fine  crop  of  Indian  corn.  Scarcely  a  stone 
is  left,  and  yet  the  form  declares,  as  strongly  as 
evidence  can  do,  its  origin  and  destination.  Our 
host,  who  owns  this  part  of  the  village,  seemed 
proud  in  telling  us  the  good  speculation  he  had 
made,  in  selling  the  large  hewn  stones  which  once 
covered  the  sides  and  surface  of  the  place,  to  his 
neighbours,  who  were  building  houses.  As  well  as 
we  could  make  out,  they  were  laid  in  the  form 
of  steps,*  and  from  his  praises  of  their  size,  they 

*  I  am  inclined  to  think  that  the  name  of  Gradistie  may  have 
been  given  to  the  place  by  the  Wallacks  in  consequence  of  these 
step,-(Gradu,)  ^^^^  &&<&  OF 

VOL.  II.  I 


must  have  been  considerable.  The  shafts  of  two 
pillars  and  a  stone  seat,  with  some  Roman  letters, 
which  now  ornament  our  host's  yard,  were  brought, 
he  said,  from  this  place.  From  hence,  we  could 
trace  elevations  and  inequalities  in  the  ground, 
which,  though  now  overgrown  with  grass,  seemed 
to  indicate  the  sites  of  former  buildings,  for  more 
than  a  mile  along  the  plain.  It  is  said,  that 
remains  of  an  aqueduct  still  exist ;  but  of  these 
we  observed  nothing,  any  more  than  of  the  Roman 
road,  though  it  is  highly  probable  that  a  better 
knowledge  of  the  country,  and  the  ability  to  con- 
verse with  the  people,  might  have  enabled  us  to 
discover  them.  The  difficulty  of  obtaining  any 
information  from  an  uneducated  farmer,  through 
the  interpretation  of  an  ignorant  servant,  is  very 

It  is  impossible  to  stand  on  the  ruins  of  this 
amphitheatre,  with  the  traces  of  a  former  city 
around  you,  the  beautiful  plain  stretched  out  at 
your  feet,  and  bounded  by  a  range  of  distant  hills, 
without  calling  to  mind  Rome,  her  Campagna,  and 
her  clear  blue  mountains.  The  very  forms  of  the 
hills  towards  Hatszeg  favoured  the  illusion;  and, 
as  the  last  rays  of  the  setting  sun  gilded  their  tops, 
we  had  already  made  out  a  Tivoli,  an  Albano,  and  a 

Towards  the  middle  of  the  village,  we  were  con- 
ducted to  see  a  Mosaic  pavement,  discovered  here 
in  1823.  To  obtain  a  sight  of  this  object,  however, 

MOSAICS.  115 

we  had  been  obliged  to  send  off  the  servant  early 
in  the  morning  to  a  village  ten  miles  distant,  where 
the  lady,  to  whom  this  part  of  Varhely  belongs, 
lives;  for  she  had  erected  a  shed  over  the  pave- 
ment, to  preserve  it  from  the  destructive  hands  of 
visitors,  and  would  only  give  the  key  to  persons 
with  whom  she  thought  it  would  be  safe.  As  we 
were  totally  unknown,  we  had  some  doubt  as  to 
the  success  of  our  application ;  but  the  servant 
returned  with  the  key,  which  the  lady  had  no 
hesitation,  she  said,  in  lending  to  Englishmen,  as  she 
felt  sure  they  would  do  no  injury;  and  with  this 
very  polite  message  she  had  sent  also  some  wine  for 
our  use,  as  none  was  to  be  obtained  at  Varhely. 
How  lucky,  that  she  guessed  Englishmen  loved 
genuine  wine  as  well  as  genuine  antiquities  ! 

About  three  feet  below  the  surface,  and  sur- 
rounded by  the  original  walls,  which  are  eighteen 
inches  high,  we  found  two  Mosaic  pavements, 
which,  from  their  size,  separation  by  a  wall,  and 
relative  position,  were  probably  the  floors  of  two 
baths.  The  chamber  on  the  left,  nearly  twenty 
feet  square,  was  occupied  by  a  very  perfect  Mosaic, 
surrounded  by  a  highly  ornamented  border,  repre- 
senting the  visit  of  Priam  to  Achilles,  to  beg  the 
dead  body  of  Hector.  The  names  of  I1PIAMO2, 
AXIAAET2,  and  ATTOMEAQN,  the  sword- 
bearer  of  Achilles,  are  worked  in  Greek  letters; 
while  Mercury,  who  has  conducted  Priam,  is  suffi- 
ciently indicated  by  his  caduceus  and  wings.  The 


116  MOSAICS. 

kneeling  figure  of  Priam,  embracing  the  knees  of 
Achilles,  is  well  drawn,  and  full  of  expression,  and 
the  dress  of  the  Trojan  king  is  worthy  of  remark, 
as  bearing  a  considerable  resemblance  to  that  worn 
by  the  Wallacks  in  winter.  The  drawing  and  shad- 
ing of  Mercury  declare  the  artist  to  have  been 
among  the  best  of  the  time ;  few,  if  any,  of  those 
of  Rome  or  Pompeii  are  superior.  The  sitting- 
figure  of  Achilles,  apparently  crowned  with  laurels, 
though  the  head  as  well  as  the  breast  have  suffered, 
is  easy  and  dignified. 

The  colours,  though  not  bright,  are  tolerably 
well  preserved.  At  first,  the  whole  was  so  covered 
with  dust,  that  it  was  with  difficulty  any  colour 
could  be  distinguished ;  but,  after  carefully  washing 
it,  and  drying  it,  they  came  out  more  clearly. 
Some  few  parts  have  received  a  slight  incrustation 
of  lime,  which  might  easily  be  removed  with  a 
knife,  but  we  dared  not  attempt  it.  The  Wallack 
who  was  entrusted  to  take  back  the  key,  looked 
sufficiently  alarmed  at  the  washing;  and  his  ig- 
norance might  easily  have  given  an  unfavourable 
report  to  his  mistress,  and  caused  other  travellers 
still  greater  difficulties  in  seeing  it  had  we  attempted 
to  remove  the  lime. 

The  Mosaic  on  the  right,  represents  the  judg- 
ment of  Paris.  The  first  figure  is  Venus,  apparently 
holding  the  coveted  apple  in  her  left  hand  above 
her  shoulder.  A  tight  blue  and  white  figured  dress 
covers  her  to  the  hips,  from  whence  loose  drapery 

MOSAICS.  117 

hangs  down  to  the  feet.  The  second  figure  is  pro- 
bably Juno,  whose  face,  as  well  as  that  of  her 
neighbour,  whose  helmet,  gorgon-headed  breast- 
plate, and  spear,  bespeak  her  Minerva,  is  over- 
clouded by  the  scowl  of  disappointed  vanity.  The 
left  hand  of  Minerva,  probably  rested  on  her  shield  ; 
but  the  whole  of  the  lower  corner  is  much  injured 
and  very  indistinct.  These  three  figures  are  all 
beautifully  worked  out  with  rich  colours,  and  a 
little  cleansing  from  the  lime  would  render  them 
quite  distinct.  On  the  other  side,  Paris  sits  in 
judgment,  wearing  the  Phrygian  cap;  and  behind 
him,  stands  Mercury:  both  these  figures  are  con- 
siderably injured,  and  scarcely  equal  to  the  others 
in  workmanship.  Part  of  the  body  of  Mercury  is 
wanting,  and  its  place  is  supplied  by  white  Mosaic, 
ancient,  but  from  the  different  size  and  colour  of 
the  pieces  evidently  repaired  by  another  hand. 

We  had  found  so  much  trouble — it  took  us  the 
greater  part  of  a  day — in  removing  the  dust  and 
dirt  with  which  these  Mosaics  were  obscured,  that 
we  got  two  linen  covers  made,  and  gave  directions 
that  they  should  always  be  placed  over  them,  except 
when  they  were  shown.  As  the  peasants  who  were 
constantly  with  us,  saw  the  pleasure  we  took  in 
such  things,  they  soon  brought  every  relic  of  anti- 
quity the  village  could  boast ;  among  others,  a  small 
female  head  in  white  marble,  part  of  a  small  Doric 
capital  of  delicate  workmanship,  besides  several 
common  silver  and  copper  coins  of  Roman  Em- 

118  MOSAICS. 

perors,  found  in  the  place.  We  paid  them  for 
these  things,  not  on  account  of  their  intrinsic  value, 
but  rather  to  encourage  them  to  preserve  everything 
they  might  find.  The  larger  objects,  we  deposited 
with  the  Mosaics,  where,  I  dare  say,  future  tra- 
vellers will  find  them.  It  was  not  till  after  we  had 
left  Varhely,  that  I  was  aware  that  a  second  Mo- 
saic had  been  discovered  there ;  but  in  a  paper  by 
M.  A.  Ackner,  in  the  "Transylvania,"  —  a  very 
useful  periodical,  now  defunct,  dedicated  to  the 
antiquities  of  this  country, — I  find  mention  of  a 
large  Mosaic,  discovered  in  1832,  of  which  only 
a  small  part  remained  perfect,  and  which,  from 
some  dispute  among  those  to  whom  the  land  be- 
longed, had  been  again  covered  up. 


DEMSUS.  119 



Demsus. — The  Leiter-Wagen. — Roman  Temple — its  Form  and 
probable  History.  —  Paintings  in  Wallack  Churches.  — Wai- 
lack  Priests  and  their  Wives.  —  Russian  Influence  over  the 
Members  of  the  Greek  Church. — Origin  of  the  United  Greek 
Church.  —  Religious  Oppression.  —  Education  of  the  Greek 
Priesthood.— Village  of  Varhely.— The  Wallack  Women.— 
Wallacks  and  Scotchmen,— Wallack  Vices  and  Wallack  Vir- 
tues.—  The  Devil's  Dancers. —  Our  Host's  Family.  —  House- 
hold Arrangements. — The  Buffalo. 

THE  next  morning,  our  host  offered  to  drive  us 
over  to  Demsus,  to  show  us  some  antiquities  there  ; 
and  as  even  he  said  the  road  was  too  bad  for  our 
carriage,  we  were  glad  to  content  ourselves  with  a 
Leiter-Wagen,  so  called  from  the  similarity  which 
its  sides  bear  to  a  ladder.  In  this  part  of  the 
world,  everything  is  in  so  very  primitive  a  state, 
that  these  carriages  are  not  only  deficient  in  springs, 
but  they  have  often  not  even  a  particle  of  iron 
about  them,  so  that  it  is  impossible  to  conceive 
by  what  means  they  hold  together.  They  are 
gifted,  however,  with  the  singular  power  of  bend- 
ing about  like  a  snake;  and,  as  one  wheel  mounts 
a  bank,  while  the  other  falls  into  a  pit,  the  body 


accommodates  itself,  by  a  few  gentle  contortions, 
to  these  varieties  of  position,  without  in  any  way 
deranging  itself  or  its  contents. 

Trusting  ourselves  to  this  conveyance,  we  follow- 
ed the  low  range  of  sand-stone  hills  which  confine 
the  valley  on  one  side,  while,  on  the  other,  are  the 
marble  cliffs  bounding  Wallachia, — as  far  as  Pes- 
teny,  where  we  turned  into  a  lesser  valley  which  led 
us  to  Demsus.  On  a  small  hill,  which  overlooks 
the  twenty  or  thirty  cottages  which  constitute  this 
humble  village,  stands  a  stone  building  now  used 

as  a  Wallack  church.  It  is  small,  with  a  curious 
half-ruined  steeple,  its  ensemble  so  bizarre,  as  to  be- 
speak at  once  considerable  intervals  between  the 
periods  of  the  erection  of  its  different  parts,  and 

AT  DEMSUS.  121 

variety  in  the  taste  of  its  architects.  It  seems 
to  have  been  originally  a  Roman  temple,  the  in- 
terior of  which  was  about  eight  yards  square,  with 
a  semicircular  dome,  a  recess  towards  the  east,  and 
a  portico  to  the  west.  The  place  of  the  portico  is 
now  supplied  by  high  walls  composed  of  stones, 
evidently  brought  from  other  parts  of  the  building, 
and  more  recently  converted  to  their  present  pur- 
pose. The  entrance  to  the  body  of  the  temple  re- 
mains in  its  original  state ;  it  is  small,  low,  and 
quite  simple.  In  the  interior  are  four  large  square 
pillars,  supporting  an  equal  number  of  clumsy  round 
arches,  on  which  again  the  tower  rests.  These 
pillars  bear  monumental  inscriptions,*  and  some 
figures  of  horses,  and  are  evidently  of  Roman  work- 
manship; but  I  must  confess,  I  never  saw  anything 
similar  in  any  other  Roman  temple,  nor  do  I  ever 
remember  to  have  seen  before  this  kind  of  inscrip- 

*  Among  the  most  perfect  I  copied  the  following  : — 


VIX  •  AN  •  LXX  .  IVLIA 
RAVIT  •  H-S-E- 

VIX  •  AN  •  XXIX 
T  •  PLAV1VS    APER 


tion  on  pillars.  Indeed,  in  form  these  pillars  more 
resemble  altars,  although  from  their  position  and 
similarity  they  appear  to  have  been  originally  in- 
tended for  the  purpose  to  which  they  are  still  ap- 
plied. It  is  possible,  that  in  the  centre  of  these 
four  arches  the  altar  had  formerly  stood,  and  a 
square  piece  of  the  floor,  which  is  still  without 
pavement,  though  the  rest  has  its  ancient  cover- 
ing of  hewn  stone,  indicates  the  want  of  something 
which  had  once  occupied  this  spot.  In  the  semi- 
circular recess  behind  might  have  stood  the  statue 
of  the  god. 

The  exterior  walls  are  supported  by  recent  but- 
tresses, in  the  construction  of  which  the  shafts  of 
several  pillars  have  been  employed,  which,  as  well 
as  some  others  which  lie  near,  had  probably  be- 
longed to  the  portico.  In  another  part  I  observed 
a  Corinthian  capital  reversed,  and  built  into  the 
wall ;  it  appeared  rich,  and  in  a  pure  style,  and  may 
serve  to  determine  the  order  of  the  architecture. 
For  what  purpose  an  arched  passage  which  runs 
along  the  south  side  was  intended,  I  was  quite  un- 
able to  surmise.  By  means  of  the  half-broken  walls 
of  the  semi-circular  dome,  we  mounted  to  the  out- 
side of  the  tower.  Here  we  found  an  opening  into 
a  small  chamber,  two  yards  square  and  one  high,  in 
the  body  of  the  tower,  and  from  this  there  is  a  very 
small  opening  into  a  circular  passage,  running  round 
the  inside  of  the  little  tower  between  the  outer  wall 
and  the  chimney-like  opening,  which  gives  light 

AT  DEMSUS.  123 

to  the  interior.  The  tower  itself  is  built  partly  of 
bricks,  partly  of  stones  and  pieces  of  marble  from 
other  parts  of  the  building.  This  tower  is  to  me 
a  complete  puzzle.  It  is  evidently  later  than  some 
other  parts  of  the  building,  yet  it  is  too  elegant  to 
be  the  work  of  mere  barbarians.  As  for  the  use  to 
which  the  chamber  and  circular  passage  had  been 
put,  I  cannot  even  offer  a  suggestion.  They  cannot 
have  been  intended,  as  some  one  supposes,  to  have 
concealed  the  priest  who  spoke  the  oracle,  for  they 
would  not  have  enabled  him  to  communicate  with 
the  statue ;  they  could  scarcely  have  served  as 
hiding-places  for  treasure;  and  there  is  no  mark 
of  the  tower  having  been  used  in  Christian  times 
for  a  belfry.  Besides  the  inscriptions  I  have  copied, 
there  are  fragments  of  several  others,  but  none  of 
them  afford  any  clue  to  the  history  of  the  build- 
ing, nor  any  indication  to  what  god  it  was  dedi- 
cated, unless  indeed,  the  D.M.  at  the  head  of  the 
first,  and  the  figure  of  the  horse  may  not  suggest 
Mars  as  its  patron.  I  am  inclined  to  believe,  that 
the  four  pillars,  the  arches,  and  the  tower,  were 
built  after  the  temple  itself  by  such  of  the  descend- 
ants of  the  Romans  as  remained  after  the  evacua- 
tion of  Dacia,  and  when  the  original  building  had 
suffered  from  the  attacks  of  some  of  the  earlier 
barbarian  invaders.  On  ascending  the  tower,  we 
observed  two  statues  of  lions  much  injured,  and 
apparently  but  rudely  carved. 

This  temple  is  now,  and  has  been  from  time  im- 


memorial,  used  by  the  Wallacks  as  a  church,  to 
which  circumstance  it  probably  owes  its  preserva- 
tion. The  semi-circular  recess  forms  the  altar, 
which  is  adorned  by  the  most  wretched  prints  of 
Greek  virgins,  St.  Georges,  and  other  grim  saints, 
and  is  separated  from  the  rest  of  the  building  by 
a  carved  wooden  screen.  The  walls,  as  is  common 
in  Greek  churches,  are  covered  with  rude  frescoes : 
in  the  present  instance,  they  are  very  practical 
illustrations  of  the  evils  of  immorality,  and  if  the 
husbands  and  wives  of  Demsus  do  not  obey  a  cer- 
tain commandment,  it  is  not  for  want  of  knowing 
how  the  devil  will  catch  them  at  their  peccadilloes, 
for  it  is  here  painted  to  the  most  minute  details. 
I  have  often  been  much  amused  with  these  pic- 
tures in  the  Wallack  churches;  for,  though  too 
gross  for  description,  they  contain  so  much  of  that 
racy,  often  sarcastic  wit  proper  to  Rabelais  or 
Chaucer,  wrought  out  with  a  minuteness  of  dia- 
bolical detail  and  fertility  of  imagination  worthy  a 
Breughel,  that  it  recalls  to  one's  mind  the  laboured 
illuminations  of  our  old  missals.  Notwithstanding 
its  sins  against  pure  taste,  there  is  often  much  that 
is  good  in  the  church's  humour ;  nor,  despite  the 
reverence  due  to  the  holy  character  of  the  subject, 
is  it  possible  to  repress  a  smile  at  the  sly  malice  of 
the  monkish  illuminator,  when  he  decks  out  the 
pharisee  in  the  robes  and  jewels  of  some  neighbour- 
ing bishop  ;  or  at  the  prurient  imagination  of  the 
cloister,  when  it  breaks  forth  in  warm  delineation 


of  all  the  charms  and  temptations  by  which  sin  can 
lead  poor  man  astray. 

As  we  were  looking  at  the  church,  the  Wallack 
priest  came  up  and  spoke  to  us.     He  was  dressed  in 
a  very  white  linen  shirt,  fashioned  like  that  of  the 
common  peasant,  and  fastened  round  his  waist  by  a 
leathern  belt ;  loose  linen  trowsers  formed  his  nether 
habit,  and  the  rude  sandal  of  the  country  served 
as  covering  for  his  feet.     Except  from  a  somewhat 
greater  neatness  of  person,  and  the  long  black  beard 
which  hung  down  to  his  breast,  the  Wallack  priest 
was  in  no  way  distinguished  from  the  humblest  of 
his  flock.     With  just  enough  education  to  read  the 
service  of  the  church,  just  enough  wealth  to  make 
them  sympathize  with  the  poor,   and  just  enough 
religion  to  enable  them   to   console  them  in  their 
afflictions,  these  men  exercise  a  greater  power  over 
the  simple  peasant  than  the  most  cunning  Jesuit, 
the  most  wealthy  Episcopalian,   or  the  most  rigid 
Calvinist.     This  is  a  strong  point  in  favour  of  the 
Wallack  priest ;  but  I  suspect  he  owes  it  more  to 
his  position  than  his  character ;  the   sympathy  of 
equality  begets  affection,  for  though  the  rich  may 
pity  the  poor,  none  but  the  poor  can  sympathise 
with   them,    because   none    other    can  know  their 
wants  and  feelings. 

I  have  already  said,  that  the  Wallacks  belong 
to  the  Greek  church ;  and  in  accordance  with  its 
rules,  the  lower  order  of  the  clergy,  or  the  parish- 
priests,  are  allowed  to  marry,  though  the  monks 


and  the  higher  dignitaries  are  condemned  to  celi- 
bacy. One  effect  which  results  from  the  strict  ad- 
herence to  the  letter  of  the  Gospel  in  this  matter, 
is  to  make  the  priest's  wife  the  happiest  woman  in 
the  parish ;  for  as  he  can  be  but  "  the  husband  of 
one  wife,"  he  takes  the  greatest  possible  care  not  to 
lose  her,  and  in  consequence  pays  a  heavy  tax  in 
the  indulgence  of  whims  and  humours,  an  opposi- 
tion to  which  might  endanger  his  partner's  safety 
and  condemn  him  to  a  state  of  single  misery.  The 
education  of  a  Wallack  priest  is 

and  I  have  known  cases  in  which  the  common  pea- 
wntfeMibeenjOTiMned_mOTelj  on  paying  the  stipu-    ^ 
Jatedjmm_Jto^  If  we  may  believe  the     £j 

Hungarian  nobles,  the  Wallack  priest  is  charac- 
terized by  cunning  malice,  which  he  employs  to 
maintain  his  power  over  the  peasant,  to  enrich 
himself,  and  to  foment  discord  between  landlord 
and  tenant.  The  fasts  and  feasts  of  the  Greek 
church,  which  extend  to  nearly  one-third  of  the 
year,  and  during  which  the  peasant  is  strictly  for- 
bidden to  labour  for  his  worldly  profit,  the  priest 
adroitly  avails  himself  of,  by  assuring  him  that  he 
may  labour  in  God's  service ; — which,  being  liberally 
interpreted,  means  his  priest's, — and  so  the  lazy  and 
superstitious  Wallack,  who  will  scarcely  move  a 
limb  for  his  own  support,  willingly  wastes  the  sweat 
of  his  brow  in  tilling  the  Popas  glebe  on  feast  days, 
and  thus  earns  his  soul's  salvation. 

The  prelates  of  the  Greek  church,  and  the  priests 


officiating  in  large  towns,   receive  a  better  educa- 
tion than  those  of  the  villages ;  and,  in  appearance 
at  least,    have   an  air    of  greater  intelligence  and 
respectability.     The    dress    of  the  higher   class  of 
priests  is  the  same  as  that  so  common  in  Greece 
and  Turkey, — a  long  black  cloak  reaching  to  the 
feet,  which,  with  the  beard  and  black  locks  flowing 
over  the  shoulders,  are  often  so  arranged  as  to  show 
no  small  portion  of  earthly  vanity.     I  am  not  fond 
f  of  priests  generally, — they  are  apt  to  have  sly  fat 
\  minds, — but  I  took  a  positive  dislike  to  these  fel-  \   u« 
I  lows,   when  I  saw  the  looks  they^directed  at  the  ' 
\  beautiful    half-naked  WaUack   girls,    who    always 
stoop  down  to  kiss  the  Popa's  hand  whenever  they/ 
I  pass  him. 

As   political    agents    and    spies  of  the   Russian  ^ 
court,  the   Wallack   priests    are    said  to   be   made  Q  r  0^ 
much  use   of,  and  I  am  fully  inclined  to  believe  0    ^  ( 
it ;  for  they  regard  the  Archbishop  of  Moscow  as  o   VM 
their  mjinate,  and   the   Emperor  of  Russia  as  the  ^ 
head    of  their  church .j     The   ritual   of  the  Greek /o 
church  in  Hungary,   contains  a  prayer  for  the  Em- 
peror and  King, — such  is  the  title  of  the  sovereign 
of  Austria,   and   Hungary, — the  last  part    only    of 
which   the  Wallacks   however  apply  to  their   own 
monarch,  the  first  being  reserved  for  the  Emperor 
of  Russia.     This  account  I  have  heard,  not  only  of 
the  Wallacks,  but  also  of  the  Croatians  and  Scla- 
vonians,  among  whom  the  Greek  faith   is  equally 
predominant,  and  where  the  influence  of  Russia  is 


still  farther  strengthened  by  analogy  of  language. 
A  few  years  ago,  when  Austria  was  supposed  to  be 
a  little  opposed  to  the  aggressive  strides  of  Russia, 
a  Wallack  almanack,  printed  at  Bucharest,  and  ex- 
tensively circulated  in  Transylvania,  openly  called 
upon  the  Wallack s  of  that  country  to  wrest  the 
power  from  the  Hungarian  usurpers,  and  boldly 
assert  their  own  right  to  the  land  of  their  fathers. 
It  is  not,  therefore,  without  reason  that  Austria  has 
feared  this  foreign  influence  in  the  heart  of  her 
dominions,  nor  without  reason  that  she  has  en- 
deavoured to  counteract  it.  Unfortunately,  how- 
ever, instead  of  acting  in  a  frank  and  liberal  spirit 
equalizing  all  religions,  removing  causes  of  discon- 
tent, and  undermining  the  influence  of  ignorance  by 
the  diffusion  of  knowledge,  the  spirit  of  Jesuitical 
propagandism  has  been  let  loose  on  the  country, 
and  that  feeling  of  bitter  hatred  has  in  consequence 
been  engendered,  which  anything  like  persecution 
is  always  sure  to  beget. 

The  plan  of  Government  was  to  form  a  Catholic 
Greek,  or  united  Greek  church,  as  it  is  called, — that 
is,  a  church  in  almost  all  doctrinal  and  essential 
points  like  the  original  Greek,  but  acknowledging 
the  Roman  Pontiff  as  its  head.  The  marriage  of 
priests  and  the  use  of  the  vernacular  tongue  in  the 
services  of  the  church  were  yielded  by  the  politic 
conclave  of  the  Vatican.  The  temporal  powers  were 
not  behindhand  in  concessions.  The  members  of 
the  Greek  church,  in  Transylvania,  had  hitherto 


been  excluded  from  a  share  in  the  Government; 
the  Conformists  were  offered  a  full  participation, 
not  only  in  the  rights  but  in  the  favours  also, 
which  are  showered  on  the  Catholics.  By  dint 
of  such  means,  and  others  somewhat  less  justifi- 
able, the  scheme  succeeded  to  a  certain  extent, 
the  priest  received  solid  reasons  for  his  compliance 
with  the  new  doctrines,  and  sometimes  brought 
over  his  flock  to  obedience.  In  other  cases, 
especially  in  the  valley  of  Hatszeg,  the  people 
refused  to  change  their  religion  in  spite  of  the 
priest's  apostasy,  and  declined  his  offices,  while  the 
Government,  on  the  other  hand,  refused  to  allow 
any  other  to  officiate,  so  that  instances  have  been 
mentioned  to  me  of  villages  in  which,  for  thirty 
years,  no  Christian  ceremony,  or  sacrament,  had 
been  performed.  Men  had  been  born,  married* 
and  had  died  unchristened,  unblessed,  unshrived. 
It  is  only  those  who  know  the  sacred  character 
with  which  the  superstitious  Wallack  clothes  his 
priest,  and  the  importance  he  attaches  to  the  sa- 
craments of  his  church,  who  can  appreciate  the 
strength  of  the  feeling  which  induced  him  to  resist 
the  one,  or  the  cruelty  which  has  been  practised 
in  depriving  him  of  the  other. 

Statistical  works  on  Transylvania  are  very  much 
rarer  than  on  Hungary,  and  even  those  which  exist 
are  of  less  authority ;  so  that  it  is  difficult  to  say, 
with  accuracy,  what  the  proportion  of  the  Wallacks 
to  the  rest  of  the  inhabitants  is,  or  to  state  the 

VOL.  II.  K 


relative  numbers  belonging  to  the  Greek  and  the 
united  Greek  churches.  According  to  the  best 
authority  I  can  command  at  present,  the  Wallacks 
amount  to  about  eight  hundred  and  fifty  thousand. 
Now  the  "  Schematisms "  *  of  the  united  Greek 
church  of  1835,  gives  the  number  of  souls  pro- 
fessing that  creed,  at  five  hundred  and  fifty-one 
thousand  nine  hundred  and  eighty-nine,  so  that  if 
conscientiously  correct  (which  I  doubt)  it  would 
give  the  majority  very  much  in  their  favour.  The 
clergy  as  well  as  the  people  of  this  belief  enjoy  all 
the  privileges  of  Catholics,  and  their  bishop  has  a 
seat  in  the  chamber.  According  to  the  work  just 
quoted,  they  have  at  Balasfalva  a  Lyceum,  Gym- 
nasium, and  Normal  School,  with  an  abundant 
array  of  professors  in  theology  and  philosophy. 

As  far  as  I  am  aware,  the  members  of  the  pure 
Greek  church  of  Transylvania  have  no  place  of 
education  for  their  priesthood,  although  in  Hungary, 
where  they  amount  to  a  million  and  a  half,  they 
have  a  college  at  Karlowitz,  which  generally  con- 
tains about  fifty  theological  students,  besides  schools, 
in  Neusatz,  Miskolcz,  and  Temesvar.  Notwith- 
standing this,  even  in  Hungary,  and  still  more  in 
Transylvania,  the  common  Wallack  priest  has  for 
the  most  part  no  better  education  than  the  village 

*  Schematismus  venerabilis  Cleri  Grseci  Ritus  Catholicorum 
Dioeceseos  Frogarasiensis,  in  Transylvania,  pro  anno  a  Christo 
nato  1835,  ab  unione  cum  Ecclesia  Romana  138.  Blasii,  typis 
Seminarii  Dioecesani. 



school  has  afforded,  and  no  more  learning  than  is 
just  sufficient  to  get  through  the  services  of  the 

In  rambling  over  the  scattered  village  of  Varhely 
in  search  of  traces  of  former  times,  we  had  ample 
opportunities  of  observing  the  state  of  its  present 
occupants.  The  houses  of  the  Wallacks  are  as 
simple  as  possible.  They  generally  consist  of  only 
one  small  room,  in  which  old  and  young,  men  and 
women,  are  indiscriminately  mixed,  and  not  unfre- 
quently  too  the  pigs  and  fowls  come  in  for  their 
share  of  the  accommodation.  The  material  of  the 
building  is  usually  the  unhewn  stems  of  trees  lined 

inside  with  mud,  and  covered  with  a  very  high  roof, 
composed  of  straw,  thrown  carelessly  on,  and  fre- 
quently retained  in  its  place  by  branches  of  trees 


hung  across  it.  I  need  not  point  out  to  the^jeader 
the  difference  between  this  hovel  and  the  many- 
chambered  dwelling  of  the  Magyar,  the  white  walls 
and  careful  thatch  of  which  wouI3  do  honour  to  a  \ 
cottage  orne  of  the  Isle  of  Wight.;  Under  the  over- 
hanging roof  are  laid  out  in  summer  the  beds  of 
the  whole  family,  sometimes  shaded  by  a  decent 
curtain ;  and  before  the  door  is  generally  that  semi- 
fluid mass  yclept  a  puddle,  where  the  pigs  and 
children  indulge  in  their  siesta.  As  we  passed  one 
door,  a  group  of  urchins  were  quarrelling  with  their 
unclean  companions  for  the  enjoyment  of  a  large 
melon,  which  was  fast  disappearing  in  the  struggle, 
while  an  old  woman  sat  listlessly  watching  the 
strife.  I  shall  not  easily  forget  the  figure  this 
woman  presented.  With  no  sort  of  covering  save 
the  linen  shift,  which  was  open  as  low  as  the  waist, 
its  whiteness  strangely  contrasting  with  the  colour 
of  the  body  it  should  have  concealed, — the  blear 
eye  and  vacant  gaze  of  extreme  age,  the  clotted 
masses  of  hair  bound  with  a  narrow  fillet  round 
the  head,  the  fleshless  legs,  and  the  Ipngpendulous^ f. 
breasts  exposed  without  any  idea  of  shame,  pre- 

sented^ a   picture,    the    horrors    of  which    I    have/ 

And   to    such   a   state- is 

the  Wallack  woman,  so  beautiful  in  the  freshness 
of  youth,  reduced  before  she  has  arrived  at 
what  we  should  call  a  middle  age.  This  is  as 
much  owing  to  hard  labour,  as  to  bad  nourish- 
ment and  exposure  to  the  sun.  The  very  early 


marriages,  too,  common   among   the  Wallacks,  aid 

^>  I 

^  this    premature   decline.       Gjrls^  frequently   marry  ( 
sat  thirteen  or  fourteen,  and  the  men  rarely  later  ( 

Tbanjjighteen^    I  remember  Baron  B coming 

in  laughing  one  day  at  a  request  which  a  boy  of 
fourteen  had  just  made  to  be  allowed  to  marry, 
a  request  to  which  he  had  of  course  not  assented. 
If  a  peasant  is  asked  what  he  wants  a  wife  for, 
he  usually  answers  to  comb  him  and  keep  him  clean. 
The  Wallack  woman  is  never  by  any  chance  seen 
idle.  As  she  returns  from  market  it  is  her  breast 
that  is  bulged  out  with  the  purchases  of  the  day  ;* 
it  is  her  head  that  bears  the  water  from  the  village 
well ;  she  dyes  the  wool  or  flax,  spins  the  thread, 
weaves  the  web,  and  makes  the  dresses  of  her 
family.  In  harvest  she  joins  the  men  in  cutting  the 
corn,  and  though  less  strong,  she  is  more  active  and 
willing  at  the  task.  She  uses  the  spindle  and 
distaff  as  the  princesses  of  Homer  did,  and  as 
they  are  still  used  in  the  Campagna  of  Rome,  and 
they  are  scarcely  ever  out  of  her  hand.  You  may 
see  her  at  the  market  suckling  her  child,  higgling 
for  her  eggs  and  butter,  and  twirling  her  spindle  at 
the  same  time,  with  a  dexterity  really  astonishing, 
far  as  ^leanjjjiessjgpes,  however,  she  is  a^J>aj_L 

*  Nothing  can  be  more  ludicrous  than  the  appearance  these  f 
women  sometimes  present.  The  front  of  the  chemise  is  always  / 
open,  and,  among  other  purposes,  serves  that  of  a  pocket.  A  j 
woman  coming  from  market  often  fills  it  with  cabbages,  meat,  j 
and  perhaps  a  dozen  other  articles,  thus  forming  altogether  a  most  j 
astounding  protuberance. 



^housewife ;    nor   does    her    labour    produce    great 

effects.  Among  the  German  settlers  it  is  a  proverb, 
"to  be  as  busy  as  a  Wallack  woman,  and  do  as 
little."  The  dress,  which  I  have  already  described,, 
is  with  some  variations  everywhere  the  same.  The 
apron  has  sometimes  little  or  no  fringe,  and  at 
other  times  is  little  else  than  fringe.  In  winter 

..  -- 

they  commonly  wear  the  same  thick  pantaloons  as 
the  men,  cover  themselves  with  a  guba,  or  pelz- 
rockel,  and  wrap  up  the  feet  in  cloth  sandals.  One 
of  the  figures  in  the  sketch  above,  is  that  of  a  young 
girl  about  sixteen,  in  full  costume,  and  rather 
tidily  dressed.  Her  chemise  was  embroidered  with 
blue  at  the  sleeves  and  neck ;  her  fringed  aprons, 


of  green  and  red,  were  bound  round  the  waist  by 
a  woollen  belt,  but  the  pride  of  her  costume  was 
the  richly  embroidered  sheep-skin  jacket.  The  hair 
was  rather  curiously  arranged;  it  was  parted 
at  the  side  and  plaited,  one  plait  hanging  behind, 
while  the  other  was  brought  coquettishly  across  the 
forehead.  It  is  wonderful  what  variety  one  sees  in 
this  particular,  —  every  village  seems  to  have  its 

The  pattern  of  the  aprons,  in  which  greens  and 
reds,  blues  arid  blacks,  are  the  most  common  colours, 
reminded  me  very  strongly  of  the  Scotch  plaid, 
especially  at  the  borders,  where  the  colours  often 
cross  and  form  the  exact  tartan  patterns :  but  I 
was  still  more  struck  when  I  observed  the  well- 
known  shepherd's  plaid,  the  common  black  and 
white  check.  I  bought  one  piece  of  this  kind,  and 
Scotchmen  to  whom  I  have  shown  it,  at  once  claimed 
it  as  their  own.  It  is  generally  of  very  coarse 
texture,  being  spun  from  the  long  wool  of  the  com- 
mon sheep,  and  is  loosely  woven.  The  dyes  which 
the  Wallacks  manage  to  give  their  cloths,  are  cele- 
brated for  their  brilliancy  and  durability.  The 
mention  of  Scotch  plaids  reminds  me  that  I  have 
seen  some  author,  I  think  Herodotus,  quoted  as  an 
authority,  that  the  Agathyrsse,  said  to  have  been 
the  ancient  inhabitants  of  Dacia,  owned  the  same 
origin  as  the  Picts  of  Scotland.  Without  entering 
into  such  a  knotty  discussion,  I  merely  throw  out 
for  the  consideration  of  Gaelic  antiquaries  the  facts, 


that  the  Wallacks  wear  the  tartan,  that  the  Wal- 
lacks love  the  bagpipe,  and  that  the  Wallacks 
drink  an  inordinate  quantity  of  sliwowitz,  alias 
mountain  dew,  —  the  which  I  hold  to  be  strong 
marks  of  similarity  of  taste,  if  not  of  identity  of 

In  appearance,  the  common  Wallack  presents  a 
decided  difference  from  either  Magyar,  Sclave,  or 
German.  In  height,  I  should  say,  that  he  was  below 
the  medium,  and  generally  rather  jl|ghtlyj)uilt_^nd 
thin.  His  features  are  often  fine,  the  nose  arched, 
the  eyes  dark,  the  hair  long,  black,  and  wavy,  but 
the  expression  too  often  one  of  fear  and  cunning 
to  be  agreeable.  ]  I  seldom  remember  to  have  seen 
among  them  the  dull  heavy  look  of  the  Sclavack, 
but  still  more  rarely  the  proud  self-respecting 
carriage  of  the  Magyar.  Seventeen  hundred  years' 
subjection  has  done  its  work;  and  I  can  readily 
believe  that  many  of  the  vices  attributed  to  the 
Wallacks  are  possessed  by  them, — for  they  are  the 
vices  of  slaves.  They  are  not,  however,  without 
their  redeeming  qualities. 

In  examining  the  characteristics  of  the  Wallack, 
if  I  appear  somewhat  as  his  apologist,  it  is  because 
I  did  not  find  him  so  bad  as  he  was  described  to 
me,  and  because  it  is  natural  to  interest  oneself 
rather  in  defending  the  weak  than  in  strengthening 
the  strong. 

The  Wallack  is  generally  considered  treactu 

/  revengeful,  and   entirely  deficient  in  gratitude.     If 


once  insulted,  be  is  said  to  carry  the  recollection  of 
it  till  opportunity  favours  his  weakness  and  enables 
him  to  accomplish  his  revenge.  This  is  rather  his 
misfortune  than  his  fault.  If  stronger,  like  other 
people,  he  would  revenge  himself  without  waiting. 
/  Cowardice  is  another  fault  very  commonly  attri- 

/buted  to  the  Wallack.     I  remember  Count  S 

saying,  he  believed  every  other  European,  except 
the  Neapolitan  and  Wallack,  might  be  made  to  fight. 
It  is  certain  that  nothing  depresses  the  courage  so 
surely  as  subjection,  and  so  long  a  period  of  it  as 
these  people  have  endured  cannot  have  been  with- 
out effect ;  yet  the  Wallack  peasant  is  a  bold  and 
successful  smuggler^  and  no  one  is  more  ready  to 
attack  a  wolf  or  bear ;  but  it  is  hard  to  persuade 
any,  except  very  stupid  men,  to  fight  without  a 
better  object  than  that  of  adding  to  the  glory  of 
those  they  do  not  love.  A  long  succession  of  ill 
treatment  has  rendered  them  timid  and  suspicious. 
A  few  years  ago,  a  German  Count  settled  among 
the  Wallacks,  and  with  tfye  kindest  intentions 
endeavoured  to  excite  them  to  industry  by  giving 
rewards  to  those  who  best  cultivated  their  land. 
For  this  purpose,  all  the  peasants  of  the  village 
were  assembled  together  with  due  solemnity,  but 
no  sooner  did  their  seigneur  appear  among  them 
than  the  whole  assemblage,  as  though  seized  with 
a  panic,  started  off,  and  could  never  be  got  together 
again.  They  were  firmly  persuaded  that  some  trick 
was  to  be  played  upon  them ;  as  for  any  one  doing 


them  a  service  for  their  own  sakes,  experience 
had  not  taught  them  to  think  such  a  thing  possible. 
The  treatment  of  the  peasantry,  however,  improves 
every  year  with  the  improved  knowledge  of  their 
masters.  I  knew  an  old  Countess  in  Transyl- 
vania who  used  to  lament  that  "times  were  sadly 
changed, —  peasants  were  no  longer  so  respectful  as 
they  used  to  be ;" —  she  could  remember  walking 
to  church  on  the  backs  of  the  peasants  who  knelt 
down  in  the  mud  to  allow  her  to  pass  over  them 
without  soiling  her  shoes.  She  could  also  remem- 
ber, though  less  partial  to  the  recollection,  a  rising 
of  the  peasantry,  when  nothing  but  the  kindness 
with  which  her  mother  had  generally  treated  them, 
saved  her  from  the  cruel  death  which  many  of  her 
neighbours  met  with. 

The  Magyar  peasant  holds  the  Wallacks  in  the 
most  sovereign  contempt.  He  calls  them  a  "  people 
who  let  their  shirts  hang  out"  from  the  manner 
in  which  they  wear  that  article  of  clothing  over 
the  lower  part  of  their  dress ;  and  classes  them 
with  Jews  and  jGJEsies.]  Even~wfien  living  in  tluP 
same  village,  the  Magyar  never  intermarries  with/' 

That  the  Wallack  is  idle  and   drunken  it  would) 


very  difficult  to  deny.)  Even  in  the  midst  of 
harvest  you  will  see  him  lying  in  the  sun  sleep- 
ing all  the  more  comfortably  because  he  knows 
lie  ought  to  be  working.  His  corn  is  always  the 
last  cut,  and  it  is  very  often  left  to  shell  on 


the    ground    for   want    of  timely   gathering;    yet 
scarcely    a  winter  passes   that  he  is   not   starving 
with    hunger.     If  he   has  a  waggon  to  drive,    he 
is  generally  found  asleep  at  the  bottom  of  it;   if 
he  has  a  message  to  carry,  ten  to  one  but  he  gets 
drunk   on  the  way,  and   sleeps   over   the    time    in 
which  it  should  be  executed.    But  if  it  be  diffi- 
cult   to    deny   these    faults,    it   is    easy   to   find    a 
palliation   for  them.     The  half-forced   labour  with 
which  the  Hungarian  peasants  pay  their  rent,  has 
the  natural    tendency  to  produce   not  only  a  dis- 
position,   but  a   determination    to  do  as   little   as 
possible    in    any  given    time.       Add   to    this,   that 
at  least  a  third  of  the  year  is  occupied  by  feasts 
and   fasts,   when,   by  their  religion,   labour  is  for- 
bidden them  ;  that  the  double  tithes  of  the  church 
and  landlord  check  improvement  ;  that  the  injustice 
with  which  they  have  been  treated   has   destroyed 
all   confidence   in  justice,   and    every  sentiment  o 
security;    and   it    will    not    then    be    difficult    to 
guess  why   they  are  idle.     The  weakness  of  body 
induced    by  bad   nourishment,    and    still  more    by 
the    fasts   of  the  Greek  church,    which    are  main- 
tained   with    an    austerity  of    which    Catholicism 
has   no   idea,    and   which    often   reduces   them  to 
the  last    degree    of  debility,   and   sometimes   even 
causes  death,  is  another  very  efficient   cause.      I 
have    often   heard   this  alluded  to  by  land-owners, 
who   have    declared,    that  with    the   best   will   the 
Wallack    could    not    perform    the    same    amount 

7)  *-     LL  o/ii/^/viof  A  i  »    E>*rvi  r/u  rr~    t  n 


of  labour  as  the  well-fed  German  or  Magyar. 
An  English  labourer,  of  that  sturdy  independent 
caste  which  is  not  yet,  thank  God,  extinct  among 
us,  observed  to  his  travelled  master  who  was  tell- 
ing him  with  how  much  less  food  the  poor  on 
the  Continent  were  contented,  "  Look  ye,  sir, 
them  foreign  chaps  may  eat  and  drink  less  than 
we  do,  but  I'll  warrant  they  work  less  too.  Them 
as  does  not  live  well,  can't  work  well."  Never 
did  philosophy  utter  a  more  certain  truth. 

Another  cause  for  laziness  may  be  found  in 
the  paucity  of  the  Wallaces  wants,  and  in  the 
ease  with  which  they  are  supplied.  The  earth, 
almost  spontaneously,  affords  him  maize  for  his 
polenta, — or  mamaliga,  as  he  calls  it, — and  his  wife 
manufactures  from  the  wool  and  hemp  of  his  little 
farm  all  that  is  required  for  his  household  use  and 
personal  clothing. 

Many  Hungarians,  I  know,  hold  that  it  would 
be  impossible  to  cultivate,  were  rents  substituted 
for  Robot,  especially  where  the  peasantry  are  Wai- 
lacks  ;  but  only  let  commerce  open  a  fair  market 
and  introduce  desirable  objects  of  purchase,  and  the 
Wallack  will  scarcely  belie  principles  of  which  all 
ages  and  nations  have  proved  the  truth.  There 
is  no  want  of  enterprise  among  them,  for  nothing 
pleases  them  more  than  a  little  commercial  specu- 
lation. Should  a  peculiarly  fine  season  have  sent 
a  better  crop  than  usual,  the  Wallack  will  load  his 
little  waggon,  harness  his  oxen,  provide  himself 



with  his  maize  loaf  and  bit  of  bacon,  and  set  off  for 
some  distant  market  where  he  thinks  he  can  turn 
his  produce  to  account.  It  is  true,  he  sleeps  on  the 
top  of  his  load  the  whole  way,  perhaps  he  drinks 
a  good  part  of  the  money  before  he  gets  back,  pro- 
bably a  Jew  cheats  him  out  of  the  rest  of  it  in 
exchange  for  some  worthless  trinkets  for  his  wife, — 
still  the  spirit  of  commercial  enterprise  is  there, 
little  as  its  benefits  are  felt. 

When  the  new  road  was  cutting  between  Orsova 
and  Moldova,  there  was  no  difficulty  in  finding 
Wallack  workmen  at  eightpence  per  day,  though 
they  were  employed  at  a  labour  to  which  they  were 
unaccustomed,  which  prevented  them  from  return- 
ing to  their  houses,  obliged  their  wives  to  bring 
them  food  from  a  great  distance,  and  exposed  them 
to  many  inconveniences  attendant  on  the  nature  of 
the  undertaking.  Regular  payment  has  great  at- 
tractions; and,  if  successful  in  one  case,  there  is 
every  reason  to  believe  it  would  be  so  in  others 
where  the  circumstances  are  still  more  favourable. 

When  I  hear  the  Wallack  peasant  accused  of 
want  of  gratitude,  I  am  apt  to  lose  patience,  for 
he  has  had  so  very  little  opportunity  of  indulging 
in  that  feeling,  that  it  is  rather  the  fault  of  his 
^.oppressors  than  of  himself,  if  it  be  totally  eradi- 
/  cated  from  his  nature.  But  I  question  the  fact : 
in  some  cases,  his  conduct  bears  the  appearance 
of  ingratitude,  merely  because  he  suspects  the 
\  motive  with  which  a  benefit  is  conferred ;  but 

-^ '.  t  *>       _  ^- 



when  understood,  it  is  felt  and  acknowledged.  An 
intimate  friend  of  mine,  who,  during  the  prevalence 
of  the  cholera  which  raged  so  fearfully  in  Transyl- 
vania in  1836,  remained  in  his  village,  and  who, 
aided  by  his  lady,  rendered  every  assistance  which 
it  was  possible,  both  by  medicine  and  personal  ad- 
vice, to  the  poor  around  him,  had  occasion,  after 
the  cessation  of  the  disease,  and  at  the  commence- 
ment of  harvest  to  leave  home  for  a  short  time. 
He  hastened  back,  anxious  to  provide  for  the  exi- 
gencies of  the  season,  which  require  the  greatest 
exertions  on  the  part  of  the  master  in  this  coun- 
try, and  on  his  arrival  he  was  astonished  to  find 
everything  finished.  The  peasants  had  collected 
together  of  their  own  accord,  and  agreed  to  join 
their  labour,  cut  his  corn,  and  get  in  his  harvest 
before  he  came  back,  to  show  their  gratitude  for 
his  kindness  to  them  in  the  hour  of  need. 

Ignorant  as  the  Wallack  peasant  may  be,  he  can 
distinguish  between  the  man  who  merely  wishes  to 
benefit  him  and  the  man  who  really  does  so.  Every 
landlord  knows,  that  to  gain  his  Wallack  peasants' 
hearts,  it  is  only  necessary  that  he  should  look 
in  upon  their  feasts,  and  accept  their  invitations 
to  marriages  and  funerals ;  in  short,  it  is  only 
necessary  that  he  should  appear  to  be  interested 
in  what  really  interests  them,  and  he  is  certain 
of  their  love. 

The  intractable  obstinacy,  which  is  often  charged 
against  these  people  because  they  refuse  instruc- 

LOVE   OF   PARENTS.  143 

tion  and  decline  well-meant  but  injudicious  efforts 
to  improve  them,  often  arises  from   the   affection 
they   entertain    for    their    national    language   and 
religion,  and  from  the  fear  that   such    means  are 
employed  only  to  rob  them  of  these  their  only  trea- 
sures.    A  gentleman,  who  was   desirous  of  improv- 
ing his  peasantry,  established   a  school,  appointed 
and  paid  a  master,  and  ordered  that  all  the  children  u*\  m   > 
should  attend.     His  chief  object  was  to  teach  the 
Magyar  language,  an  object  very  desirable,  and  one 
which,  by  judicious  management,  might  be  effected     J-Q    j 
in  time;  but,  unfortunately,  in  the  present  instance,     OF  f-t 
this  was  the  first  thing  begun  with.     On  revisiting        _.    , 
his  estate,  after  half  a  year's  absence,  he  found  his     r,/\\f 
school-room  entirely  deserted,  and  the  schoolmaster     "^  „  , 
declaring  that  he  could  get  no  one  to  come  to  him. 
On  remonstrating  with  them,  the  peasants,  with  that      y. 
stupid  air  which  the  countryman  can  assume  so  well     ^  " 
when  he  wishes  to  conceal  his  cunning,  answered,     ~?   ; 
that  they  were  afraid  their  children  might  become     JUS'l 
wiser  than  themselves,  and  cease  to  obey  them.     In     <5<  F 
all  probability,  the  priest  had  become  alarmed,  ex-      ^  " 
cited  the  fears  of  his  flock,  and  forbidden  them  the     ^  t 

£L   I  A 

school.     A  little  prudence,  personal  attention,  and 
foresight,  would  easily  overcome  such  obstacles.  '^    ' 

One  of  the  Wallack's  most  prominent  virtues  is, 
his  love  for  his  parents,  and  his  respect  and  care  for 
them  in  their  old  age.  They  would  consider  it  a 
disgrace  to  allow  any  one  else  to  support  their  aged 
and  poor,  while  they  could  do  it  themselves ;  and  I 


certainly  do  not  remember  to  have  seen  any  beggars 
among  them.  The  idiot  is  here,  as  with  all  the  pea- 
sants of  Hungary,  considered  a  privileged  person,  and 
is  allowed  to  make  himself  at  home  in  every  cottage. 

There  is  among  the  Wallacks,  a  peculiar  tenacity 
to  localities,  which,  besides  having  maintained  them 
in  this  land,  where  Romans,  Goths,  Vandals,  and 
Huns,  in  vain  tried  to  gain  a  permanent  footing, 
still  attaches  them,  notwithstanding  the  injuries  and 
injustice  to  which  they  are  exposed,  so  forcibly  to 
their  native  villages,  that  if  a  possibility  of  exist- 
ence remains,  they  rarely  quit  them.  This  tenacity 
is  an  important  fact,  and  ought  to  make  the  Mag- 
yars very  cautious  how  they  attempt  to  force  prema- 
turely any  reform  in  language,  religion,  or  customs, 
onjsuch  a  people.  They  may,  perhaps,  be  led,  —  no 
one  yet  has  been  able  to  drive  them.  Rude  as  he 
is,  the  Wai  lack  feels  deeply ;  he  loves  the  land  his 
fathers  tilled,  the  house  his  fathers  lived  in,  the 
soil  where  their  bones  have  found  a  resting-place. 
Such  sentiments  may  sometimes  interfere  with  the 
schemes  of  the  improver,  or  the  profits  of  the  spe- 
culator ;  but,  utilitarian  as  I  am,  I  should  be  sorry 
to  see  this  stuff  of  the  heart  bartered  for  such  gains 
as  theirs :  I  hate  the  pseudo-philosophy  which  can- 
not appreciate  the  utility  of  sentiment  and  beauty. 

United  to  a  very  strong  religious  feeling,  which 
they  manifest  sufficiently  by  the  exertions  they 
make  to  obtain  suitable  places  of  worship,  they 
possess  a  mass  of  superstition  which  mixes  itself 


up  with  every  action  of  their  lives.  Many  of  their 
beliefs  and  superstitious  observances  strongly  re- 
semble those  of  some  other  nations  ;  whether  from 
direct  communication,  or  because  similarity  of  cir- 
cumstances produces  similarity  of  ideas,  I  leave 
others  to  decide.  The  notion  of  hidden  treasures 
being  concealed  under  old  castles,  in  tombs,  and 
such  like  places,  is  very  common ;  and,  as  in  Tartary 
and  Circassia,  the  peasants  here  believe  them  to  be 
guarded  by  some  evil  spirit.  In  the  old  castle  of 
Gyalu,  formerly  a  fortress  of  Rakotzy,  now  ren- 
dered a  very  agreeable  residence  by  Count  Banffy, 
it  has  always  been  said  that  the  treasures  of  that 
unfortunate  prince  were  buried.  A  few  years  since, 
some  of  the  servants  obtained  permission  to  dig 
under  the  great  gateway,  where  rumour  located 
the  hidden  wealth,  and  to  search  for  it,  and  they 
proceeded  accordingly  with  their  task ;  but  on  the 
second  day,  or  rather  night,  —  for  they  worked  in 
darkness,  —  something  so  mysterious  and  horrible 
took  place,  that  one  of  the  men  died  of  fright 
soon  after,  and  the  others  begged  permission  to 
be  sent  away,  though  nothing  could  ever  draw 
from  them  the  cause  of  their  alarm,  or  induce  them 
to  recommence  their  search. 

Like  the  Turks,  the  Wai  lacks  ornament  their 
burial  places  by  planting  a  tree  at  the  head  and 
another  at  the  foot  of  every  grave  ;  but,  instead  of 
the  funereal  cypress,  they  plant  the  swetschen  or 
plum,  from  which  they  make  their  brandy,  —  a  very 

VOL.  II.  L 


literal  illustration  "  of  seeking  consolation  from  the 
tomb."  For  the  death  of  near  relations,  they  mourn 
by  going  bare-headed  for  a  certain  time ;  —  a  severe 
test  of  sincerity  in  a  country  where  the  excesses  of 
heat  and  cold  are  so  great  as  here. 

The  village-well  is  still,  all  over  Hungary,  the 
favourite  gossiping  spot  for  matrons  and  maids. 
There  is  a  custom  which  I  often  noticed  among  the 
Wallacks,  of  throwing  over  a  small  quantity  of  the 
water  from  the  full  pitcher  before  it  is  carried 
away.  It  appears  that  this  is  done  to  appease  the 
spirit  of  the  well,  who  might  otherwise  make  her 
pure  draught  an  evil-bearing  potion.  Has  this  not 
some  analogy  to  the  Roman  libations  to  their  gods  ? 
The  analogy,  if  it  be  one,  is  strengthened  by  the 
classically  formed  earthen  vessels  which  the  Wal- 
lacks commonly  use,  and  which  are  often  exceed- 
ingly elegant. 

The  only  occupation  in  which  the  Wallack  shows 
any  peculiar  talent,  is  that  of  a  carpenter ;  here,  I 
believe,  he  is  allowed  to  excel.  His  house  frequently 
bears  proof  of  his  taste  in  this  particular  in  the 
wooden  ornaments  about  the  gates,  windows,  and 
roof;  and  it  is  rarely  the  church  and  cross  are  not 
adorned  with  the  rude  carvings  of  the  Wallack's 
knife.  Domestic  manufactures,  too,  assume  an  im- 
portance unknown  amongst  more  civilized  people. 
The  Wallack  grows  his  own  flax,  his  wife  spins  it 
into  yarn,  weaves  it  into  cloth,  dyes  it  of  various 
colours,  cuts  it  out,  and  works  it  up  into  clothes  for 



her  family.  The  wool  goes  through  nearly  the  same 
processes ;  and  is  made  to  serve  for  leg- wrap- 
pings, aprons,  jackets,  and  cloaks.  The  sheepskin 
cap  and  sandals  are  mostly  of  home  fabrication, 
so  that  this  ignorant  peasant  has  more  knowledge 
of  the  ways  and  means  of  procuring  for  himself 
what  is  necessary  for  his  existence  and  happiness 
than  half  the  wise  men  of  Europe :  that  he  should 
not,  however,  be  a  perfect  master  of  so  many  trades 
is  scarely  wonderful. 

Varhely  contains  some  sad  specimens  of  essays 
in  the  millwright's  art.  Along  the  brook,  which 
bounds  one  side  of  the  village,  we  observed  a  num- 
ber of  small  wooden  buildings  placed  across  the 
stream,  and  rising  considerably  above  its  surface. 
One  of  these  boxes,  about  eight  feet  square,  we 
entered,  and  found  it  a  very  primitive  mill,  man- 
aged by  two  girls.  The  wheel  was  horizontal,  and 
placed  in  the  middle  of  the  stream,  and  below  the 
mill ;  the  water  falling  about  one  foot  on  the  some- 
what spoonshaped  paddles.  I  do  not  know  whether 
the  reader  ever  noticed  the  wheel  in  a  patent 
chimney-top,  because  the  idea  might  have  been 
borrowed  from  a  Varhely  mill,  so  similar  are  they 
in  form. 

The  chief  amusement  of  the  Wallacks,  after 
sleeping  and  smoking,  is  dancing  to  the  bagpipe 
or  fiddle.  On  the  Sunday  evening,  a  dozen  men 
will  collect  together,  and,  joining  arms,  dance  in 
a  circle,  alternately  advancing  and  retiring,  beating 

L  2 


time  with  the  feet,  clapping  the  hands,  and  singing. 
The  women  in  the  mean  time  stand  round,  waiting 
till  one  or  more  of  the  men  start  out  from  the 
circle,  seize  their  fair  prey,  whirl  her  round  for 
some  time  in  a  rude  waltz,  and  then,  leaving  her, 
return  to  the  circle,  dance  again  the  same  round, 
and  again,  as  the  fancy  seizes,  choose  another  fair 
one  for  the  waltz. 

The  Wallack  is  a  most  resolute  keeper  of  feasts, 
and  he  very  often  at  these  times  contracts  debts, 
— which  are  always  scrupulously  paid, — to  enable 
him  to  entertain  with  becoming  honour  his  friends 
of  the  neighbouring  villages.  On  such  occasions, 
oxen  and  sheep  are  roasted  whole ;  wine  and  brandy 
flow  in  rivulets ;  the  seigneur  is  invited  in  the  good 
old  fashion  to  come  and  sanction  by  his  presence  his 
peasants'  sports  ;  and  for  three  whole  days  a  scene 
of  wild  revelry,  which  often  ends  a  little  a  Vlrland- 
aise,  is  kept  up,  with  a  vigour  of  which  one  would 
scarcely  have  believed  them  capable. 

The  Wallacks,  especially  those  of  this  neigh- 
bourhood, have  a  custom  of  which  I  never  heard 
elsewhere.  A  party  of  idle  young  fellows  sell  them- 
selves, as  they  say,  to  the  devil,  for  a  term  of  three, 
five,  or  seven  years, — the  number  must  be  unequal, 
or  the  devil  will  not  hold  the  bargain, — engaging  to 
dance  without  ceasing  during  the  whole  of  that 
period,  except  when  they  sleep ;  in  consideration  of 
which,  they  expect  their  infernal  purchaser  will 
supply  them  with  food  and  wine  liberally,  and 

COUNTRY    FARE.  149 

render  them  irresistible  among  the  rustic  belles. 
Accordingly,  dressed  in  their  gayest  attire,  these 
merry  vagabonds  start  out  from  their  native  village, 
and  literally  dance  through  the  country.  Every- 
where they  are  received  with  open  arms ;  the  men 
glad  of  an  excuse  for  jollity,  the  women  anxious, 
perhaps,  to  .prove  their  power,  all  unite  to  feed  and 
f£te  the  devil's  dancers ;  so  that  it  is  scarcely  won- 
derful there  should  be  willing  slaves  to  so  merry 
a  servitude.  When  their  time  is  up,  they  return 
home  and  become  quiet  peasants  for  the  rest  of 
their  lives. 

We  had  now  spent  two  or  three  days  at  Varhely, 
and  it  was  quite  time  we  should  relieve  the  hospita- 
ble family  who  had  received  us  from  the  burthen 
of  our  visit.  When  we  found  it  so  late  on  the 
second  day,  that  we  could  scarcely  get  to  the  next 
place  before  dark  hour,  I  desired  the  servant  to  inti- 
mate our  wish  to  trespass  on  them  for  another  night. 
A  smile  lit  up  the  old  lady's  countenance  as  she  came 
in,  and  assured  us  as  eloquently  as  words  which  we 
did  not  understand,  and  looks  that  we  did,  could 
do,  that  we  were  welcome  to  stay  as  long  as  we 
pleased.  It  was  a  constant  cause  of  regret  to  us 
that  we  could  only  communicate  with  these  good 
people  through  the  servant,  for  they  frequently 
came  and  sat  with  us;  and  indeed  the  pretty 
little  daughter  was  generally  at  work  in  our  apart- 
ment the  whole  afternoon.  Though  frugal,  our  fare 
had  been  good  ;  and  our  supper  of  this  evening 


may  serve  as  a  sample.  First,  came  on  a  paprika 
hendel, — not  a  stewed  fowl  with  red  pepper,  such 
as  is  often  served  up  at  more  polished  tables, — 
but  a  large  tureen  of  rich  greasy  soup,  red  with 
paprika,  and  flavoured  by  a  couple  of  fowls  cut 
up  and  swimming  in  it.  After  this,  came  a  dish 
made  of  broken  barley  and  milk,  forming  a  thickish 
paste,  and,  though  not  tempting  in  appearance,  very 
good.  Some  remarkably  fine  potatoes,  boiled  in 
their  jackets,  and  some  fresh  butter,  followed  by  a 
dessert  of  plums,  apples,  pears,  and  grapes,  con- 
cluded the  meal.  Meat  we  had  only  once,  for  in 
these  small  villages  where  no  rich  proprietor  lives, 
butcher's  meat  cannot  always  be  obtained.  Wine 
or  beer,  as  I  have  said,  they  had  absolutely  none ; 
and,  but  for  the  thoughtfulness  of  the  lady  of  the 
Mosaic,  we  should  have  been  condemned  to  water. 

Here,  as  well  as  in  other  parts  of  Transylvania, 
we  enjoyed  the  luxury  of  buffalo's  cream  with  our 
coffee.  Paris  must  hide  her  head  for  very  shame, 
— she  has  no  idea  of  the  luxury  of  true  cafe  a  la 
creme.  In  the  first  place,  the  buffalo's  milk  is 
much  richer  than  that  of  the  cow,  and  then  the 
method  of  preparing  it  here  is  perfect.  Over-night, 
a  little  three-legged  earthen  pot,  a  labos,  is  placed 
over  a  very  slow  fire,  and,  as  the  cream  rises  to  the 
surface  and  clots,  it  is  gently  moved  on  one  side 
with  a  spoon  to  allow  more  to  rise  on  the  vacant 
space.  This  is  placed  aside,  and  the  next  morning 
is  boiled  for  use  ;  of  course,  the  clot  is  the  best 


part,  and  a  good  house-wife  divides  it  out  with 
great  exactness.  Buffaloes,  rarely  seen  in  Hungary, 
are  exceedingly  common  here,  and  their  slow  move- 
ments seem  to  suit  the  Wallack  precisely.  Their 
power  is  reckoned  equal  to  that  of  twice  as  many 
oxen,  but  their  pace  is  only  half  as  fast.  In  hot 
weather,  the  sight  of  water  renders  them  beyond 
all  control,  and  many  amusing  tales  are  told  of  car- 
riages lodged  in  the  middle  of  rivers,  spite  of  driver, 
whip,  or  goad.  When  excited,  the  fury  of  the 
buffalo  is  said  to  be  terrific,  he  tramples  to  death 
the  object  of  his  rage,  and  a  year  rarely  happens  in 
which  some  peasants  do  not  fall  victims  to  these 
shapeless  monsters. 

During  our  sojourn  at  Varhely,  we  observed  a 
deficiency  of  what  is  considered,  in  every  other  part 
of  Europe,  the  most  necessary  article  of  bedroom 
furniture,  and  for  which  it  was  rather  perplexing 
to  find  a  substitute.  It  is  odd  enough,  that  among 
the  old-fashioned  and  primitive  of  the  Transylva- 
nians,  an  idea  of  shame  is  attached  to  the  employ- 
ment of  such  articles  within  the  precincts  of  the 
buildings  they  inhabit.  This  might  be  accounted 
for  by  the  circumstance  that  the  bedrooms  were 
always  formerly,  and  even  still  are  among  the 
less  wealthy,  used  as  sitting-rooms;  but  it  would 
appear  that  it  springs  from  a  deeper  feeling,  for 
the  Magyars  have  a_sense^o£  cleajiliness__.and  of 
decency  connected  with  such  matters  which  the 
traveller  will  search  for  in  vain  over  the  rest 


(of  continental  Europe,  and  which  even  we  should 
(consider   hyperdelicate.      None  baveinorejreju- 

;4ices,  ifsuch  theycan  be  ^alled,_on  matters  of 
decency,  than  the^jlu^^ixian^^easants.|  I  Certain 
duties,  which  the  delicate  English  house-maid  does 
not  consider  below  her,  the  Magyar  girl  cannot  be 
brought  to  perform  ;  so  that  in  many  houses,  where 
what  the  old  people  call  dirtv_German  customs  are 
introduced — for  everything  a  greybeard  thinks  dirty 
or  immoral  he  calls  German, — a  gipsy  girl  is  kept 
expressly  to  execute  the  duties  necessarily  arising 
therefrom.  This  poor  creature,  in  consequence,  is 
regarded  as  unclean  by  the  rest  of  the  servants. 

From  the  evidently  straitened  circumstances  of 
this  family,  we  were  anxious  in  some  way  to  repay 
them  for  the  trouble  we  had  given  them,  and 
the  servant  said  he  thought  it  would  be  most 
acceptable  in  money.  They  received  what  we 
offered  without  shame  or  pretended  hesitation.  I 
was  not  less  pleased  with  this,  than  with  the  kind- 
ness and  courtesy  of  their  whole  conduct  towards 
us.  At  first,  when  asked  for  a  night's  lodging,  they 
would  not  hear  of  anything  in  the  way  of  remune- 
ration ;  but  when  we  had  stayed  some  days  with 
them,  and  had  put  them  to  considerable  expense, 
and  when  they  saw  that  we  were  rich  enough  to 
pay,  they  then  no  longer  hesitated  to  receive  it. 

VALLEY    OF   I1ATSZEG.  153 



Valley  of  Hatszeg.— Wallack  Gallantry.— Transylvanian  Travel- 
ling.— Arrival  at  Vayda  Hunyad. — The  Gipsy  Girl.— Hun- 
yadi  Janos. — Castle  of  Hunyad. — The  painted  Tower. — A 
Deputation.  —  A  Rogue  found  out.  —  Deva.  —  Valley  of  the 

Maros. — H taken  for  a  Spy. — Visit  to  the  Mines  of  Nagy 

Ag. — Politeness  from  a  Stranger. — Transylvanian  Post-office. 
— Sandstone  of  the  Felek. 

IT  was  on  a  cloudy  wet  day  that  we  turned  our 
backs  on  Varhely,  so  that  although  we  crossed  the 
entire  valley,  or  rather  plain  of  Hatszeg,  we  saw 
but  little  of  its  beauty ;  occasionally  a  bright  sun- 
beam burst  out,  and  gave  us  a  glimpse  of  its  glories, 
but  it  passed  too  soon  to  allow  us  to  appreciate  or 
enjoy  them.  We  had  been  warned  that  the  roads 
in  this  neighbourhood  were  bad,  but  we  found  them 
worse  even  than  we  had  expected,  and  yet  this  is 
the  shortest  and  most  direct  route  from  Transyl- 
vania to  the  Danube.  From  the  state,  however, 
in  which  the  road  is  kept,  often  so  as  to  be  dan- 
gerous, and  at  times  even  impassable,  the  one  by 


Deva  and  Lugos,  though  much  longer,  is  used  in 

It  must  be  very  bad  weather  indeed  which  the 
traveller,  in  a  new  country,  cannot  turn  to  account 
if  he  will ;  in  the  present  instance  the  wet  muddy 
road  afforded  us  an  opportunity  of  witnessing  a 
striking  example  of  Wallack  gallantry  and  Wai- 
lack  modesty.  A  stout  peasant,  wrapped  up  in  his 
guba  of  thick  white  cloth,  was  riding  very  com- 
posedly through  the  wet,  for  it  could  not  hurt  him,— 
while  his  wife  was  trotting  in  the  mud  by  his  side, 
her  clothes — proh  pudor  ! — gathered  up  to  her  hips 
to  keep  them  out  of  the  dirt.  This  mode  of  dis- 
posing of  their  dress  is  exceedingly  common  among 
the  Wallack  women,  and  it  is  not  without  some 
astonishment  that  the  stranger  sees  half  a  dozen 
of  them  prepare  in  this  manner  to  cross  a  brook, 
which  they  do  without  the  least  feeling  of  shame. 

The  town  of  Hatszeg  had  no  attractions  to  detain 
us,  and  we  started  next  morning  for  Hunyad,1  which 
we  were  assured  we  should  reach  in  two  hours. 
The  first  part  of  the  road  was  bad,  and  we  began 
to  doubt  if  we  should  arrive  so  soon  as  we  ex- 
pected. The  horses  and  driver  we  had  engaged 
from  the  neighbourhood  of  Karansebes,  to  take  us 
as  far  as  we  required — for  in  this  part  of  Tran- 
sylvania, the  peasantry  are  so  poor  that  they  have 
few  horses,  and  use  either  oxen  or  buffaloes  for  agri- 
cultural purposes  —  were  evidently  unequal  to  the 
task.  I  wished  much  to  persuade  our  coachman 


to  let  me  take  a  relay  of  oxen,  but  he  declared  his 
horses  were  capable  of  anything,  and  would  not 
hear  of  help.  The  first  hill  beyond  Hatszeg  occu- 
pied us  an  hour,  for  the  road  was  nothing  more 
than  soft  tenacious  clay,  good  enough  perhaps  in 
dry  weather,  but  now  almost  impassable.  Fortu- 
nately we  were  not  without  cause  for  consolation  ; 
for  on  getting  out  of  the  carriage  to  walk,  and  look- 
ing back,  our  eyes  fell  on  such  a  scene  as  I  do  not 
think  the  world  can  equal  in  loveliness.  The  plain 
from  Varhely  to  Hatszeg,  yellow  with  the  over-ripe 
maize,  traversed  by  half  a  dozen  streams,  broken  by 
low  hills,  and  sprinkled  over  with  cottages  and 
country-houses,  lay  stretched  out  at  our  feet,  its 
mountain  boundaries  rising  through  the  clouds, 
which  hung  on  their  sides,  and  disclosing  their 
summits,  whitened  by  the  first  fall  of  the  autumn 
snow,  and  all  heightened  by  the  magic  lights  and 
shades  of  a  fitful  sky,  formed  a  picture  of  most 
exquisite  beauty. 

The  first  hill  conquered,  we  descended  to  the 
village  of  Szilvas,  a  collection  of  poor  huts,  appa- 
rently shut  out  from  the  world  by  the  hills  which 
surround  it  on  every  side.  Up  the  steepest  of  these 
hills  our  road  now  lay.  In  vain  the  horses  exerted 
themselves, — they  were  quite  tired  out.  As  we 

passed  through    the    village,    S had  observed 

some  oxen  in  a  yard,  and  for  these  we  now  sent. 
But  their  Wallack  owner  saw  our  need,  and  would 
only  let  us  have  them  on  paying  an  exorbitant  sum, 


and  that,  too,  before  they  left  his  yard.  There  was 
no  help;  the  money  was  paid,  and  the  four  oxen 
were  harnessed  to  the  four  horses.  These  beasts, 
however,  seemed  to  know  the  place,  and  most  re- 
solutely declined  drawing  in  the  right  direction,  and 
not  all  the  flogging  and  pushing  of  the  drivers  could 
prevent  them  from  dragging  us  back  into  the 
village.  The  peasant,  however,  was  as  cunning 
as  the  oxen,  and  he  determined  to  deceive  them 
by  going  another  way,  and,  by  crossing  the  ploughed 
fields,  escape  that  part  of  the  road.  So  far  all 
went  well;  but  we  again  reached  the  road,  and 
now  both  horses  and  oxen  stood  stock  still ;  they 
seemed  to  have  come  to  a  mutual  agreement  to 
draw  no  further.  As  for  flogging  and  shouting,  there 
was  no  lack  of  either,  for  there  were  five  of  us, 
and  we  all  united  voices  and  hands  in  the  labour. 
The  beasts  only  kicked.  Again  we  sent  off  for  aid, 
and  comforted  ourselves  in  the  mean  time  with  the 
spare  fare — some  hard-boiled  eggs  and  well  garlicked 
salami — which  our  prog-basket  afforded.  After 
about  an  hour's  waiting  without  any  appearance 
of  the  arrival  of  fresh  relay  —  travelling  in  Tran- 
sylvania demandeth  much  patience — a  merry-looking 
fellow,  with  a  strong  arm  and  long  whip,  came 
singing  by,  and  inquired  the  reason  of  our  untimely 
halt.  No  sooner  did  he  hear  that  want  of  power, 
not  want  of  will,  detained  us,  than  angry,  apparently 
at  the  unreasonable  conduct  of  the  cattle — with 
whom  I  am  by  no  means  sure  he  had  not,  like  the 


Irish  whisperer,  some  secret  intelligence — he  gave 
a  few  such  persuading  flourishes  of  his  long  whip, 
that  off  set  both  oxen  and  horses,  nor  did  they 
stop  their  gallop  till  they  reached  the  top  of  the 

While  we  waited  there  for  the  servant's  return 
we  had  leisure  to  enjoy  the  extensive  panorama 
spread  out  before  us  —  plains,  valleys,  rivers,  and 
wooded  mountains,  backed  by  still  higher  moun- 
tains rising  over  each  other,  as  far  as  the  eye  could 
reach.  The  valleys  of  Hatszeg  and  Hunyad,  the 
plain  before  Varhely,  the  hill  of  Deva,  with  its 
ruined  castle,  lay  all  before  us ;  beyond  them 
stretched  out  the  Iron-Door  Pass,  the  often-men- 
tioned mountains  of  Wallachia,  and  the  gold  bear- 
ing peaks  round  Szalatna.  We  could  plainly  per- 
ceive too  the  course  of  the  river  Strehl,  now  formed 
into  a  respectable  stream  by  the  union  of  the  many 
brooks  of  the  valley  of  Hatszeg,  and  which  had  cut 
itself  a  passage  through  the  rocks  to  the  Maros.  It 
is  in  this  direction  that  the  road  between  Hatszeg 
and  Deva  ought  to  pass.  I  feel  convinced  that  the 
Roman  road  took  this  course,  and  as  soon  as  ever 
this  part  of  Transylvania  receives  its  fair  share  of 
attention,- — it  is  now  by  far  the  most  uncultivated 
and  savage,  —  a  great  commercial  road  will  un- 
doubtedly unite,  in  this  direction,  Transylvania  with 
the  Danube. 

Before  we  reached  Hunyad,  H ,  who  had 

been  left  at  Varhely  in  hopes  of  getting  some 


views  of  the  valley,  which,  however,  the  cloudy 
weather  prevented,  overtook  us  in  a  light  waggon 
of  the  country,  with  which  he  had  galloped  over 
difficulties  our  heavier  carriage  had  stuck  fast  in. 
It  was  quite  dark  when  we  stopped  before  some 
house  where  the  sound  of  music  led  us  to  suppose 
we  had  found  an  inn.  We  were  mistaken,  however, 
and  while  the  servant  was  making  inquiries,  and  re- 
ceiving answers  which  he  could  not  understand,  as 
to  the  whereabouts  of  the  hostelry,  a  gipsy  girl 
came  out  of  the  house,  and  hearing  the  nature  of 
our  difficulty,  at  once  took  the  arrangement  of  the 
matter  on  herself.  At  a  single  bound  she  threw 

herself  into  H 's  waggon,  seated  herself  beside 

him,  and  giving  her  orders  to  the  peasant,  desired 
him  to  drive  through  the  river  up  the  steep  bank 
and  along  the  deep  road: — we  being  left  to  follow 
them  to  the  inn  as  best  we  could.  Before  we  arrived, 
our  gipsy  guide  had  roused  the  whole  house,  got 
the  keys  of  the  chambers,  unlocked  the  rooms,  and 

while  we  were  yet  joking  H on  his  adventure, 

the  heroine  of  it  had  already  lit  the  fires,  mended 
the  cracked  stoves,'*  got  the  carriage  unloaded, 
laid  the  cloth,  and  was  cooking  the  supper,  ere  it 

*  The  common  stoves  are  made  of  tiles  of  coarse  earthenware, 
the  separate  parts  being  united  together  by  clay,  which  of  course 
requires  constant  reparation,  especially  at  the  commencement  of 
winter.  The  vessel  of  water  which  Dr.  Arnot  observed  on  the 
stoves  on  the  Continent,  and  which  he  supposes  to  be  placed  there 
to  supply  moisture  to  the  atmosphere,  is  intended  to  absorb  the 
bad  smell  which  a  stove  often  emits. 



was  yet  ordered.  Everything  was  so  quickly  done, 
that  it  had  an  air  of  conjuration  about  it.  It 
was  strange  to  find  one  whom,  five  minutes  before, 
we  had  never  even  seen,  already  our  guide,  our 
hostess,  our  cook,  our  factotum.  Nor  was  the 
interest  lessened  when  we  had  time  to  observe  our 
mysterious  friend.  Lila  was  a  pretty  gipsy  girl 

of  about  sixteen,  with  features  more  regular  than 
those  of  her  tribe  commonly  are,  but  with  all  a 
gipsy's  cunning  flattery  on  her  tongue.  She  was 

100  OUR   PRETTY    GIPSY. 

rather  fancifully  dressed,  for  over  the  Wallack 
shirt  she  had  a  bodice  of  scarlet  cloth,  embroi- 
dered with  black.  The  coloured  fillet  over  her 
forehead  was  ornamented  with  a  gay  bow  in  front, 
and  behind  each  ear  was  a  nosegay  of  the  bright- 
est flowers.  Her  rich  brown  hair,  parted  in  front, 
fell  in  a  profusion  of  clustering  curls  on  her  neck, 
and  hung  down  the  back  in  the  long-braided  band 
of  maidenhood.  She  spoke  alternately  Wallack, 
Magyar,  and  German,  as  she  in  turns  scolded,  di- 
rected, and  coaxed.  Before  we  ceased  wondering  at 
so  pleasant  an  apparition,  a  good  supper  was  smok- 
ing on  the  table,  and  the  pretty  gipsy  by  her  laughing 
and  talking  almost  persuaded  us  that  we  were  sup- 
ping on  ambrosia,  while  she  played  the  gentle  Hebe 
to  our  godships.  We  could  never  understand  the 
mystery  which  seemed  to  belong  to  Lila's  movements. 
They  told  us  she  was  a  gipsy  of  the  neighbourhood, 
who  often  came  into  the  town,  and  who  was  allowed 
to  be  about  the  house  as  much  as  she  pleased. 
She  had  no  occupation  there,  yet  she  had  done  every- 
thing. The  gipsies  are  generally  such  rogues  that 
they  are  scarcely  permitted  to  enter  any  house, 
yet  everything  was  perfectly  secure  with  her. 

Our  first  duty  at  Hunyad,  after  taking  breakfast, 
which  Lila,  dressed  more  gaily  than  before,  had  pre- 
pared for  us,  was  to  visit  the  old  castle,  as  it  is  his- 
torically interesting,  having  been  built  by  the  greatest 
man  Transylvania  ever  produced,  Hunyadi  Janos, 
the  Governor  of  Hungary  and  father  of  Mathias  Cor- 

HUNYADI.  161 

vinus.  Tradition  assigns  to  Hunyadi  a  descent  from 
Sigismund,  King  of  Hungary.  The  tale  runs  thus  : — 
As  Sigismund  was  passing  through  Transylvania, 
on  his  way  to  subdue  his  rebel  vassal,  the  Woiwode 
of  Wallachia,  chance  threw  in  his  way  a  beautiful 
Wallack  girl,  Elizabeth  Marsinai,  the  pride  of  the 
valley  of  Irlatszeg.  Without  disclosing  his  rank 
the  gay  monarch  triumphed  over  the  affections  of 
the  simple  peasant,  and  as  he  left  her  to  prosecute 
his  wars,  he  gave  her  his  signet  ring,  with  the  injunc- 
tion, that  when  the  fruit  of  their  love  should  see 
the  light,  she  should  carry  it  to  the  King,  in  Buda, 
who  on  recognising  the  ring  would  be  sure  to  treat 
her  and  her  child  with  kindness. 

The  following  year,  as  Elizabeth  and  the  infant 

lade  their  progress  towards  the  distant  capital,  the 
young  mother,  overcome  by  fatigue,  fell  asleep  under 
the  shade  of  a  tree.  The  child  in  the  mean  time 
played  with  the  ring,  which  hung  like  an  amulet 

mnd  his  neck.  A  mischievous  daw,  who  watched 
the  infant's  sports,  at  last  hopped  from  his  perch  to 
join  the  play,  and  seizing  the  bauble  in  his  beak, 
flew  off  with  the  prize.  Awakened  by  the  child's 
cries,  Elizabeth  saw  with  horror  all  her  hopes  of 
greatness  dependent  on  the  humour  of  a  wicked 
wilful  bird.  Her  brother,  her  companion  and  pro- 
tector in  this  long  journey,  was  fortunately  a  keen 
sportsman  ;  and,  as  he  heard  her  wailing,  an  arrow 
from  his  bow  laid  the  cause  of  her  sorrows  at  her 
feet.  The  ring  recovered,  the  little  party  joyfully 

VOL.  II.  M 

162  HUNYADI. 

resumed  their  way,  and  when  they  reached  their 
destination,  and  recounted  their  adventures,  the 
delighted  monarch  could  not  sufficiently  testify  his 
pleasure.  He  at  once  bestowed  on  his  son  the 
name  of  Hunyadi,  and  presented  him  with  the  town 
of  Hunyad,  and  sixty  surrounding  villages.  The 
surname  of  Corvinus,  later  adopted,  with  the  arms, 
a  crow  and  ring,  were  assumed  in  memory  of  the 
events  of  this  journey,  Szonakos,  the  village  which 
gave  birth  to  Elizabeth,  was  declared  tax-free  for 
ever ;  a  right  which  it  still  enjoys. 

The  name  of  Hunyadi  was  destined  to  eclipse 
even  that  of  his  royal  father.  Brought  up  amidst 
the  wars,  to  which  the  state  of  the  times  and  the 
increasing  boldness  and  power  of  the  Turks  gave 
rise,  Hunyadi  found  himself  called  on  at  an  early 
age  to  protect  the  district  over  which  he  had  been 
placed  from  the  inroads  of  the  barbarians.  In  the 
reign  of  Sigismund  the  Turks  had  ventured,  for  the 
first  time,  across  the  boundaries  of  Hungary,  and 
already  had  the  southern  parts  of  Transylvania  been 
rendered  scarcely  habitable,  so  frequent  and  so 
fierce  had  their  attacks  become.  After  the  death  of 
Albert,  and  before  his  successor  was  determined  on, 
Hunyadi  gained  a  series  of  glorious  victories  over 
the  Moslems,  following  them  through  Wallachia, 
across  the  Danube  into  Bulgaria,  and  obliging  them 
to  yield  up  possession  of  the  fortresses  of  Servia 
and  Bosnia,  thus  placing  all  these  countries  under 
the  vassalage  of  Hungary.  By  the  support  chiefly 

HUNYADI.  163 

of  Hunyadi,  now  strengthened  by  his  victories,  La- 
dislaus  V.  was  secured  on  the  throne,  and  his  first 
act  was  to  give  peace  to  the  kingdom,  by  a  truce 
with  the  Turks,  most  solemnly  ratified  for  a  period 
of  ten  years.  To  this  treaty  Hunyadi  was  a  party, 
nor  can  any  sophistry  release  him  from  the  disgrace 
of  having  broken  his  word  when,  only  a  few  days 
after,  the  Pope's  legate,  by  that  miserable  sophism 
of  the  church,  that  faith  is  not  to  be  held  with 
infidels,  persuaded  him  to  violate  a  solemn  engage- 
ment, and,  unprovoked,  recommence  the  war  against 
the  Moslems.  The  treachery  was,  however,  fearfully 
punished  before  Varna  —  the  false  king  killed,  his 
army  destroyed,  and  Hunyadi  himself,  flying  and  at 
last  imprisoned,  was  just  retribution  for  the  crime. 

After  the  death  of  the  king,  Hunyadi  was  ap- 
pointed Governor  of  Hungary,  during  the  minority 
of  Ladislaus  VI.,  and  though  at  the  head  of  a  power- 
ful army,  and  surrounded  by  a  large  party,  he  never 
attempted  to  grasp  a  higher  power  than  that  which 
the  assembled  people  had  delegated  to  him.  When 
at  the  age  of  thirteen  the  king  was  placed  upon  the 
throne  by  the  machinations  of  Hunyadi's  sworn 
foes — no  great  man  had  worse  ones, — he  at  once 
gave  up  his  power  into  the  feeble  hands  which  could 
scarcely  have  wrested  it  from  him.  The  feelings  of 
the  country,  however,  were  so  strongly  with  him, 
thathe  was  appointed  captain-general  of  the  king- 
dom, and  loaded  with  honours  and  endowments. 

The  Turks  had  now  taken  Constantinople,  and  all 


164  HUNYADI. 

Europe  was  roused  against  them.  Crusades  were 
preached  ;  the  Monk  Capistran,  roused  Christendom 
from  its  lethargy ;  and  Hunyadi,  aided  by  the  prac- 
tised troops  from  Germany,  again  took  the  field.  His 
last  campaign  was  his  most  brilliant  one.  After  a  con- 
test of  three  successive  days,  Belgrade  fell  into  his 
hands,  and  the  Infidel  hordes  were  pursued  by  the 
victorious  Christians  almost  to  the  gates  of  Constan- 
tinople. But  their  Emperor  had  little  time  to  enjoy 
his  victory,  for  in  a  few  days  disease  consumed  a  life 
which  so  many  wars  had  left  untouched.  But  for 
Hunyadi  Janos  it  is  exceedingly  probable  that  the 
Turks  would  have  swept  over  the  whole  of  Europe,  as 
so  many  of  their  Eastern  predecessors  in  invasion  had 
already  done,  and  instead  of  being  only  on  the  out- 
skirts as  they  now  are,  we  might  have  seen  them 
established  in  its  very  centre.  Their  career  of  vic- 
tory was,  however,  checked,  their  thoughts  of  con- 
quest turned  in  another  direction,  and  although, 
when  weaker  hands  than  those  of  Hunyadi  guided 
the  reins  of  government,  they  did  gain  a  temporary 
footing  in  Hungary,  yet  the  confidence  inspired  by  his 
victories  enabled  the  Magyars  to  make  head  against 
them,  and  finally  to  expel  them  from  the  land. 

The  castle  of  Vayda*  Hunyad  is  finely  situated 
on  a  bold  precipitous  limestone-cliff,  washed  on 
three  sides  by  two  small  rivers,  the  Cserna  and 

*  It  is  called  Vayda  (Woiwode,  or  Governor)  Hunyad,  from  the 
rank  of  the  person  to  whom  it  gave  its  name,  and  to  distinguish  it 
from  Banffy  Hunyad,  a  town  in  another  part  of  Transylvania. 



Zalasd,  which  meet  at  this  point.  On  the  opposite 
side  of  the  Zalasd,  rises  another  rock  of  the  same 
height,  which  slopes  gradually  down  to  the  town, 
and  is  fortified.  From  this  second  rock  the  castle 
is  approached  by  a  long  wooden  bridge,  at  a  dizzy 
height  above  the  stream  and  road  below.  The  end 

of  the  bridge  nearest  the  castle,  by  a  simple  con- 
trivance, is  made  to  rise  and  fill  up  the  portal  of 
the  watch-tower,  which  it  closes  like  a  door.  This 
is  the  simplest  drawbridge  and  gate,  as  well  as  the 
most  effectual,  I  ever  saw,  and,  it  is  still  in  con- 
stant use.  There  is  no  pulley  or  chain  employed ; 
it  is  so  balanced  that  it  can  be  raised  by  placing  the 
foot  on  the  opposite  end,  the  weight  of  the  body 


being  sufficient  to  turn  the  scale  and  to  raise  the 
huge  mass  in  the  air.  The  part  of  the  castle  on  the 
right  of  the  entrance  is  that  built  by  Hunyadi,  that 
on  the  left  was  repaired,  and  in  part  built  by  a  Count 
Bethlen,  at  a  later  date.  The  wall  on  the  right  is 
almost  unbroken  by  windows,  except  near  the  top, 
where  a  singularly  elegant  Gothic  balcony  runs  along 
its  whole  length,  forming  a  succession  of  windows 
fitted  for  the  lighting  of  a  long  hall  or  gallery. 

On  crossing  the  bridge,  one  of  the  officers  of 
the  iron-works — for  the  castle  now  serves  as  a 
depot  for  the  Government  iron  obtained  from  the 
mines  in  the  neighbourhood — very  politely  offered 
to  conduct  us  over  it.  The  interior  forms  an  ir- 
regularly shaped  court,  of  which  the  solid  rock 
constitutes  the  pavement,  and  is  completely  sur- 
rounded by  the  buildings  of  the  castle.  A  gallery 
runs  round  three  sides  of  this  court,  and  most  of 
the  windows  open  upon  it.  We  entered  by  a  Go- 
thic door  on  the  right,  and  found  ourselves  in  a 
large  room,  extending  along  the  whole  of  one  side 
of  the  castle  divided  by  pillars  in  the  centre,  and 
supporting  a  number  of  arches,  on  which  rests  the 
groined  ceiling.  On  the  capital  of  one  of  the 
pillars,  a  scroll,  picturesquely  disposed,  bears  the 
following  inscription  in  Gothic  characters : — 

"JJjoc  opu0  fecit  fieri  magnificus  3fof)aittte0  ^uniato 
l&egni  ^ungariee  ©ufiernator  &no  JBni  1452." 

The  proportions  of  this  room  are  at  present  de- 
stroyed, by  a  partition  which  cuts  off  a  part  of  it 


for  the  convenience  of  the  Government  officers,  who 
use  it  as  a  counting-house.  The  rest  of  the  space 
is  occupied  by  bars  of  iron.  It  is  probable  that  this 
part  formed  the  Ritter  Saal,  though  they  assured  us 
it  was  on  the  story  above.  This,  however,  we  found 
divided  into  three  or  four  very  handsome  rooms, 
which  are  said  to  have  been  fitted  up  for  and  used 
by  the  Emperor  Francis,  some  years  since.  From 
these  rooms  glass  doors  open  to  the  Gothic  balcony 
I  before  spoke  of,  which  is  divided  into  several 
compartments  by  solid  walls,  forming  the  most 
lovely  little  boudoirs  imaginable.  The  opposite 
side  of  the  court  is  occupied  by  some  of  the  officers, 
as  a  dwelling,  and  a  very  handsome  one  it  makes. 
It  is  kept  in  very  good  order ;  indeed  the  whole 
building  seems  in  good  repair,  and  nothing  can  be 
more  elegant  than  the  drawing-rooms  which  the 
huge  round-towers  form,  nothing  more  beautiful 
than  the  views  presented  from  their  windows. 

About  the  largest  tower  there  is  something  mys- 
terious, for  to  all  appearance  it  is  a  solid  mass  of  ma- 
sonry ;  nor  could  our  guide  give  any  further  account 
of  it.  Attempts  had  been  made,  ho  said,  to  pene- 
trate it,  but  nothing  had  been  discovered  ;  it  was 
found  solid  throughout.  The  exterior  of  this  tower 
is  still  painted,  as  tradition  reports  it  has  been  ever 
since  its  erection.  It  is  in  black  and  white,  disposed 
chequerwise,  and  looks  as  ugly  as  possible.  I 
have  noticed  in  speaking  of  Arva,  that  the  ancient 
castles  of  Hungary  were  mostly  painted  outwardly ; 


at  the  present  time  Hunyad  is  the  only  one,  per- 
haps, in  which  the  custom  is  maintained.  I  have 
observed,  however,  other  buildings  painted  in  Hun- 
gary even  at  the  present  day.  At  Lugos,  the  Greek 
church  is  ornamented  in  this  way.  If  I  mistake 
not,  private  houses,  in  some  old  towns,  still  have 
their  walls  painted  ;  but  the  best  example,  if  I  may 
be  allowed  to  anticipate,  is  in  the  old  court-house 
£  and  prison  of  Klausenburg.  This  building  is  co- 
vered over  with  allegorical  designs,  and  is  divided 
into  compartments  bearing  wise  Latin  inscriptions, 
in  reference  to  the  purposes  of  the  building,  and 
the  duties  of  its  occupants.  I  am  not  aware  that 
this  custom  ever  prevailed  in  England,  or  in  any 
other  part  of  the  Continent  except  Hungary,  with 
respect  to  the  outer  walls  of  castles,  common  as  it  is 
in  the  inclosed  courts  and  porticos  of  Italy.  I  know 
of  no  instance  in  which  the  manner  called  fresco 
has  been  employed  in  Hungary ;  those  I  have  seen 
were  all  in  common  oil  colours. 

We  were  a  little  surprised  on  our  return  to  the 
inn,  to  receive  a  request,  through  our  servant,  that 
we  should  accept  a  complimentary  visit  from  some 
of  the  inhabitants  of  the  town,  as  we  were  the 
first  Englishmen  who  were  known  to  have  passed 
through  Hunyad.  It  would  have  been  difficult  to 
refuse  this  proffered  civility,  however  little  inclina- 
tion we  might  feel  to  play  the  part  assigned  us, 
and  we  therefore  ordered  in  as  many  chairs  as  our 
miserable  room  could  contain,  and  turning  the  beds 


into  sofas,  we  sat  in  due  state  to  receive  the  dele- 
gates of  Vayda  Hunyad  to  our  noble  selves, — the 
wandering  representatives  of  the  United  kingdom  of 
Great  Britain  and  Ireland.  The  servant  opened  the 
door  with  considerable  ceremony,  and  announced  the 
names,  titles  and  occupations  of  four  as  fat  little 
burgesses  as  could  be  found  in  any  snug  country 
town  of  our  own  island.  The  spokesman  of  the 
party,  the  fattest  and  most  important  person,  was 
the  doctor,  who  expressed  in  a  very  complimentary 
speech,  in  German,  the  pleasure  they  had  in  seeing 
Englishmen,  members  of  a  constitutional  country, 
and  Protestants  like  themselves,  in  their  town,  and 
as  we  were  the  first  who  had  ever  so  far  honoured 
it,  they  could  not  omit  the  opportunity,  et  cetera,  et 
cetera.  Of  course  we  could  only  express  our  deep 
sense  of  the  compliment  paid  us,  our  admiration  of 
the  country,  and  our  conviction,  that  as  the  facilities 
of  travelling  became  more  general,  the  beauties  of 
Transylvania  would  attract  many  of  our  countrymen 
to  visit  them.  Thereupon  Tokay  and  biscuits  were 
handed  round,  and  a  parley  commenced,  consisting 
principally  of  questions  on  their  side,  apparently  ar- 
ranged by  previous  concert,  and  propounded  by  the 
doctor,  which  were  answered  on  our  part  as  we  were 
able.  They  consisted  chiefly  of  inquiries  relative  to 
points  in  English  law  and  government,  which  had 
puzzled  them — no  wonder,  for  they  sometimes  puzzle 
even  their  own  authors — in  reading  the  journals, 
and  in  regard  to  the  appearance  and  character  of 


public  men  whose  acts  or  speeches  had  interested 
them.  This  was  another  proof  of  the  consideration 
our  dear  native  land  enjoyed  among  strangers,  and 
we  were  delighted  to  satisfy  to  the  best  of  our 
power  an  interest  so  flattering  to  England,  and  so 
useful  to  other  constitutional  countries.  In  teach- 
ing the  world  that  a  peaceable  reform,  obtained  by 
moral  arms  alone,  is  more  effectual  than  the  most 
brilliant  revolution,  England  has  done  more  for  the 
liberties  of  mankind  than  all  the  nations  of  ancient 
or  modern  times. 

After  some  time  our  visitors  took  their  leave,  and 
we  prepared  to  continue  our  journey,  but  a  difficulty 
arose  which  we  had  not  expected.  The  bill  which 
the  landlord  presented  to  us  for  the  very  slender 
accommodation  received,  was  so  exorbitant,  that  it 
was  impossible  to  overlook  such  gross  imposition. 
Suspecting  that  our  servant  was  a  rogue,  I  declined 
his  service  as  an  interpreter  on  this  occasion,  and  a 
stranger  kindly  offered  his  assistance.  It  was  well  I 
had  recourse  to  this  precaution,  for  I  found  the 
rascal  had  been  carousing  all  night  with  a  party  he  had 
accidentally  met,  and  that  he  had  desired  the  land- 
lord to  put  the  wine, — I  forget  how  many  quarts 
each, — down  to  our  account.  On  this  exposure,  and 
on  being  subjected  to  some  little  abuse  by  the  land- 
lady for  certain  other  offences,  the  fellow  seized  a 
knife  and  advanced  towards  the  woman  with  a  threat 
to  murder  her  if  she  repeated  her  words.  Luckily  I 
caught  sight  of  the  knife  and  obliged  him  to  relin- 


quish  it,  but  I  shall  not  easily  forget  his  appearance 
at  that  moment.  He  was  a  strong-built  man  with  an 
expression  of  countenance  much  resembling  a  wolf, 
and  he  had  become  excited  to  the  utmost  fury  by  the 
discovery.  He  was  red  and  foaming  with  rage  when 
I  threatened  to  strike  him  to  the  ground  (for  I  am 
fortunately,  a  strong  man),  if  he  did  not  relinquish 
the  knife,  but  in  an  instant,  with  a  power  over  him- 
self I  never  saw  equalled,  he  bowed  low,  and  in  his 
usual  humble  voice  replied,  "  Certainly,  if  my  master 
commands  it."  I  need  hardly  say  that  I  got  rid  of 
him  as  soon  as  possible,  for  I  hold  that  no  rogue  is 
so  dangerous  as  one  who  can  command  himself.  On  a 
former  occasion  my  suspicions  had  been  raised  against 
him  from  finding  my  pistols  unloaded  and  stuffed 
with  dirt ;  a  precaution  which  I  have  no  doubt  he 
had  adopted  in  case  of  detection  in  any  roguery. 

As  we  got  into  the  carriage,  Lila  was  there  to 
bid  us  adieu.  Her  beauty,  her  good-humour,  and  her 
happy  way  of  rendering  herself  useful,  made  us  quite 
sorry  to  part  with  her,  and  I  believe  S did  pro- 
pose to  equip  her  "  enjocke"  and  take  her  with  us  ; 

but  S is  a  wild  fellow !  I  know  nothing  can 

be  more  ridiculous  than  to  fancy  a  gipsy  sentimental, 
and  yet,  in  spite  of  ridicule,  I  would  swear  I  saw  a 
tear  glisten  in  the  poor  girl's  eye  as  we  drove  off. 
A  few  kind  words  are  rarely  lost  even  on  a  gipsy. 

At  Deva,  oui*  next  station,  we  spent,  or  rather 
misspent,  a  couple  of  days ;  for  placing  ourselves 
under  the  guidance  of  a  young  gentleman  who 

172  GOLD   MINES   OF    NAGY    AG. 

offered  to  show  us  the  lions  of  the  neighbourhood, 
we  saw  only  what  he  thought  lions  and  not  what 
we  should  have  selected  as  such. 

About  ten  miles  from  Deva,  there  are  some  of 
the  richest  gold  mines   in   Transylvania,   those   of 
Nagy  Ag  and  Szekerem,  and  to  these  he  promised 
to  conduct  us.     With  great  difficulty  we  got  to  the 
foot  of  the  mountain,  over  almost  impassable  roads, 
where  we  found  oxen  ready  to  drag  us  up  the  nearly 
perpendicular  rock,  and  several  peasants  in  attend- 
ance to  hold  the  carriage  from  falling  over.     We 
had  often  occasion  to  wonder   at  the  dislike   the 
Hungarian  seems  to  have  to  walking,  but  from  imi- 
tation we  fell  into  their  customs,  sitting  still  in  our 
carriage  to  be  slowly   dragged    through   and    over 
places  which  we  could  have  surmounted  much  more 
easily  and  quickly  on  foot.     Once  at  the  mines,  we 
were  conducted  along  a  new  railway  adit,  which  I 
of  course  imagined  would  conduct  us  to  the  work- 
ings; but,  alas!  it  will  only  get  there  some  years 
hence,  for  it  is  yet  unfinished,  and  in  the  mean 
time  we  were  obliged  to  content  ourselves  with  the 
ride  on  the  railroad  for  our  trouble,  it  being  de- 
clared too  late  to  see  the  other  works  when  we  got 
back.     Our  guide  assured  us  that  many  ladies  and 
gentlemen  came  to  see   the   railway,   but   nobody 
thought  of  going  into  the  mines,  so  that  he  had  no 
idea  we  could  have  wished  such  a  thing. 

The  quantity  of  gold  and  silver  obtained  here, 
though  less  than  formerly,  is  still  considerable  ;  not 

DEVA.  173 

less  than  one  hundred  and  fifty  marks  of  gold,  and 
seven  hundred  and  fifty  of  silver,  per  annum.  These 
mines  are  peculiarly  interesting  to  the  mineralogist 
as  being  the  richest  in  tellurium  of  any  in  Europe ; 
indeed  it  was  here  that  metal  was  first  discovered. 
I  afterwards  saw  a  specimen  of  pure  gold  from 
Szekerem,  in  the  form  of  a  tree, — I  think  mine- 
ralogists call  it  tree-gold.  It  was  two  inches  high, 
standing  quite  out  from  the  matrix,  and  was  most 
beautifully  branched  and  foliated. 

Deva,  situated  on  the  banks  of  the  Maros,  is 
worth  visiting,  were  it  only  for  the  view  from  the 
old  castle.  On  the  very  point  of  a  rock,  which  rises 
above  the  little  town,  stand  the  ruins  of  a  fortress, 
said  to  have  been  begun  by  the  Romans,  though 
it  was  probably  used  for  such  purpose  ever  since 
the  country  was  inhabited.  It  is  now,  however, 
a  very  small  ruin,  although  a  number  of  walls 
and  turrets  on  different  parts  of  the  hill  show  the 
extent  the  castle  once  had.  It  has  lately  been 
repaired  in  a  tasteless  manner,  and  now  serves  as  a 
watch-tower  for  a  few  frontier  soldiers. 

The  view  extends,  towards  the  west,  along  the 
beautiful  valley  of  the  Maros,  and,  to  the  east,  as 
far  as  the  blue  mountains  of  Zalatna,  which  were 
tipped  with  the  first  fall  of  the  autumn's  snow. 
Lover  as  I  am  of  rivers  and  valleys,  I  know  few 
that  I  prefer  to  the  Maros,  and  its  vale.  I  shall 
have  opportunity  enough  hereafter  of  describing  the 
higher  part  of  this  river,  for  I  afterwards  traced  it 

174         VALLEY  OF  THE  MAROS. 

nearly  to  its  source,  but  of  its  downward  course  I 
may  as  well  speak  now,  though  I  did  not  visit  it  till 
a  later  period. 

The  first  part  of  the  Maros  valley,  towards  the 
borders  of  Hungary,  is  rich,  well  wooded,  and  occa- 
sionally ornamented  with  pretty  country  houses,  At 
Dobra  the  road  leaves  it,  and  I  know  nothing  more 
of  it  till  some  time  after  it  has  reached  Hungary. 
Those,  however,  who  are  acquainted  with  the  border 
district,  describe  it  as  wild  to  the  last  degree ; — the 
river  bound  in  its  channel  by  precipitous  rocks, 
and  the  valley  darkened  by  forests  of  the  native 
oak  which  have  never  known  the  woodman's  axe. 
At  Kapolnas  the  valley  widens  considerably,  and 
presents  a  scene  of  extraordinary  loveliness.  For 
perhaps  fifteen  miles  in  length,  by  three  or  four 
in  width,  extends  a  plain  covered  with  white  vil- 
lages, and  groaning  under  the  richest  crops  of  corn, 
surrounded  on  every  side  by  mountains  covered 
to  their  summits  by  forests  of  oak,  and  traversed 
in  its  whole  extent  by  the  river  now  grown  wide 
and  powerful. 

There  are  few  things  in  any  country  which  have 
struck  me  as  being  more  beautiful  than  this  part 
of  the  valley  of  the  Maros,  but  it  is  completely 
unknown  even  to  Hungarians.  The  whole  of  it  at 
present  belongs  to  the  Kammer ;  and  as  it  is  sub- 
ject to  frequent  inundations,  against  which  no  pre- 
cautions are  taken,  its  inhabitants  are  doomed  to 
much  poverty  and  suffering.  When  sold,  as  it  will 


shortly  be,  it  is  to  be  hoped  that  private  capital  and 
enterprise  will  make  it  the  elysium  which  Nature 
seems  to  have  intended  it  should  become. 

How  far  steam  navigation  will  succeed  on  the 
Maros,  in  its  present  state,  is  extremely  doubt- 
ful, as  it  is  a  very  wide  and  wayward  stream,  and 
in  summer  has  sometimes  not  more  than  two  feet 
of  water ;  but  there  is  no  doubt  it  might  be  made 
navigable,  and  probably  it  will  be,  as  soon  as  in- 
creased population  on  its  banks  shall  demand  an 
outlet  for  their  productions. 

As  H was  too  unwell  to-day  to  climb  the 

castle-hill  on  foot,  and  yet  unwilling  to  leave  with- 
out some  memorial  of  the  scene,  a  peasant  was 
found  who  undertook  to  convey  him  to  the  sum- 
lit  in  a  leiter-wagen.  Up  accordingly  he  went,  and 
just  as  he  had  placed  himself  comfortably  to  his 
work,  a  borderer  from  the  castle,  stepping  cauti- 
ously as  a  cat  about  to  seize  a  mouse,  hastened 
towards  him  till  he  was  stopped  at  a  little  dis- 
tance by  the  driver.  H had  observed  the 

man,  but  as  the  latter  contented  himself  with 
holding  a  long  and  loud  colloquy  with  the  Wai- 
lack,  and  as  H did  not  understand  the  lan- 
guage, he  took  no  further  notice  of  him,  nor 
did  the  soldier  offer  any  other  molestation  to  the 
artist,  than  by  keeping  a  very  sharp  eye  on  his 
movements,  and  never  quitting  the  wagen  till  it 
arrived  at  the  inn.  Judge  then  of  H '&  sur- 
prise, on  coming  down,  to  be  congratulated  at  his 

176  H TAKEN   FOR  A   SPY. 

escape  from  imprisonment!  The  simple  grenzer, 
persuaded  that  the  ruins  of  Deva  formed  a  most 
important  fortress,  had  come  to  arrest  the  daring 
spy  who  was  taking  a  plan  of  its  defences,  and 
was  armed  with  a  rope  which  he  was  just  about 

to    throw   over  H 's    arms   when   the    peasant 

interposed,  and  with  great  difficulty  persuaded  him 
to  delay  the  seizure  till  lie  had  accompanied  him 
to  the  village,  and  informed  himself  better  on  the 
subject.  It  was  a  very  good  joke  when  so  well  over, 
but  it  might  have  been  otherwise  ;  to  be  suspected 
as  a  spy,  bound,  and  in  the  hands  of  a  very  rude 
and  ignorant  soldiery,  is  a  position  by  no  means  free 
from  danger. 

Nor  was  this  the  only  adventure  which  befell  our 
luckless  friend  at  Deva.  While  quietly  finishing  his 
sketches  in  the  inn,  he  observed  an  ill-conditioned 
fellow  staring  at  him  through  the  half-opened  door, 
when,  calling  the  servant,  he  desired  him  to  inquire 
his  business.  Upon  this  the  ill-conditioned  man 

became  excessively  abusive,  declared  that  "  H 

was  a  spy,  a  rogue,  a  German,  or  something  still 
worse ;  that  he  saw  things  which  he  was  sure  were 
for  no  good,  and  that  he  would  denounce  him  to 
the  authorities/'  The  servant  requested  him  to 
change  his  quarters,  but  he  protested  he  was  a 
Nemes  Ember,  and  would  stay  where  he  liked,  and 
do  what  he  liked.  As  soon  as  the  authorities  heard 
of  this  affair  they  sent  to  beg  we  would  excuse  the 
brutality  and  ignorance  of  an  individual  who  had 


never  seen  more  of  the  world  than  his  native  county, 
and  who  was  notorious  as  one  of  the  most  trouble- 
some fellows  in  it,  assuring  us  at  the  same  time 
that  they  had  taken  care  that  we  should  not  be 
subject  to  any  further  molestation. 

We  had  been  promised  vorspann  at  five  in  the 
morning  to  take  us  on  the  next  stage  to  Szasvaros: 
but  at  ten,  in  spite  of  repeated  demands,  no  horses 
had  appeared,  and  we  were  obliged  to  order  post- 
horses.  In  Transylvania,  generally,  it  is  extremely 
difficult  to  obtain  vorspann ;  indeed,  I  believe  it  is 
not  allowed  to  any  one  except  the  officers  of  the 
mnty  or  of  the  crown.  On  the  other  hand,  the 
is  much  better  than  in  Hungary ;  and  the 
principal  roads  are  maintained  in  a  state  that 
ought  to  put  many  continental  states  to  the  blush. 
The  cross  roads,  however,  are  in  a  most  deplorable 
condition  here ;  —  nothing  can  be  worse.  Count 

S ,  I  remember,  said  he  travelled  for  six  weeks 

in  Transylvania,  and  was  overturned  six  times. 

As  we  approached  Miihlenbach,  where  we  meant 
to  remain  for  the  night,  a  heavy  snow-storm  warned 
us  that  winter  was  setting  in,  and  induced  us  to 
change  our  intended  route,  and,  instead  of  proceed- 
ing to  Hermanstadt,  to  go  directly  to  Kfatusunburg. 
The  inn  was  so  full,  that  they  had  no  apartment  to 
offer  us  but  a  very  small  room,  where  it  was  impos- 
sible to  stow  three  beds ;  and  we  were  preparing  to 
encounter  the  night  and  storm  on  the  road,  when  a 
gentleman,  who  had  preceded  us,  sent  to  offer  his 

VOL.  II.  N 


large  room  in  exchange  for  our  small  one.  As  this 
was  a  person  we  had  never  seen,  and  who  knew  only 
that  we  were  foreigners,  and  in  difficulty,  it  is 
worth  adducing,  as  one  of  the  thousand  proofs  of 
the  civilities  we  received  merely  in  right  of  our 
character  as  strangers.  This  gentleman  joined  us 
in  the  evening,  and  proved  to  be  a  Szekler  con- 
nected with  the  post-office.  He  was  a  very  agreea- 
ble companion,  from  whom  we  received  much  infor- 
mation, which  the  reader  will  have  the  benefit  of  at 
the  proper  time  and  place.  With  respect  to  the 
department  in  which  he  was  employed,  he  assured 
us,  that  the  reports  so  often  repeated  of  letters 
being  opened  were  entirely  without  foundation,  as 
far  at  least  as  Hermanstadt  was  concerned;  and,  he 
believed,  they  were  equally  unfounded  with  respect 
to  every  other  place  in  Hungary  and  Transylvania. 
As  to  what  took  place  at  Vienna,  he  knew  only 
from  hearsay. 

As  we  returned  next  morning  for  a  short  distance 
on  our  road  of  the  preceding  evening,  we  found  we 
had  passed  over  a  plain  of  some  extent,  and  called 
from  its  richness  the  Kenyer  Mezb*  (bread-field),  il- 
lustrious in  Transylvanian  history  for  a  great  victory 
gained  over  the  Turks  by  one  of  their  native  princes, 
Bathori  Istvan,  in  1479. 

I  shall  say  nothing  more  of  our  journey  to  Klaus- 
enburg,  which  occupied  us  two  days,  for  we  scarcely 
put  our  heads  out  of  the  carriages,  so  miserably 
cold  and  wet  had  it  become ;  and,  as  we  shall  pass 

THE   SZAMOS.  179 

over  the  same  ground  when  we  visit  the  mines 
of  Zalatna,  it  is  of  no  importance.  As  we  reached 
the  summit  of  the  long  hill,  down  which  a  wind- 
ing road  of  two  or  three  miles'  descent  leads  to  the 
capital,  the  sun  was  pleased  to  show  himself  ere 
he  set  over  the  now  white  mountains,  and  gave 
us  a  beautiful  glimpse  of  the  valley  of  the  Szamos, 
with  Klausenburg  in  the  midst  just  below  us.  The 
Szamos  is  the  second  river  in  Transylvania  in  point 
of  size,  and  flows  through  another  of  those  valleys 
which  give  to  this  country  the  appearance  of  a  mass 
of  small  mountains  traversed  in  various  directions 
by  rivers,  which  have  cut  out  for  themselves  water- 
courses from  one  hundred  yards  to  a  mile  or  two  in 
width,  occasionally,  where  a  tributary  stream  lends 
its  force,  widening  into  small  plains  like  those  of 
Hatszeg,  Kenyer  Mezo,  Harom-sz£k,  and  Thorda. 
The  principal  roads  are  formed  along  these  valleys, 
so  that  travelling  in  Transylvania  presents  a  succes- 
sion of  beautiful  scenes  rarely  to  be  met  with  in 
other  lands. 

A  curious  substitute  has  been  found  for  curb- 
stones to  the  bridges  and  dangerous  places  in  the 
descent  of  the  Felek  hill.  The  stratum,  a  fine  sand- 
stone, has  formed  itself  naturally,  in  some  places, 
into  nearly  perfect  globes  of  considerable  size, — 
four-times  that  of  a  man's  head, — which  are  used 
as  curb- stones,  and  which  answer  perfectly  well  for 
the  purpose  to  which  they  have  been  applied.  I 
observed  one  place  on  the  road  where  these  stones 

N    2 



were  quarried,  and  it  appeared  that  they  were 
formed  between  two  layers  of  the  sand-stone,  some 
of  them  assuming  the  cylindrical  form  ;  but  almost 
all  more  or  less  nodulated.  We  galloped  down  the 
Felek  hill  at  a  tremendous  rate,  chiefly,  I  believe, 
because  the  weak  horses,  and  weaker  harness,  had 
not  strength  enough  to  hold  back ;  nor  did  we 
feel  ourselves  safe  till  we  whirled  through  one  of 
the  old-fashioned  gates  of  Klausenburg,  and  were 
rattling  over  its  rough  pavement.  The  only  toler- 
able inn  within  the  walls  was  full,  and  we  were 
fain  to  content  ourselves  with  such  accommoda- 
tion as  was  furnished  by  the  best  of  those  in  the 





Transylvania. — Its  Population. — Settlement  of  the  Szeklers, — 
of  the  Magyars, — of  the  Saxons, — under  Woiwodes. — Zapolya. 
— Native  Princes.  —  Bethlen  G£bor.  —  Aristocratic  Demo- 
cracy. —  Union  with  Austria.  —  Diploma  Leopoldinum.  — 
Confirmed  by  Maria  Theresa. — Actual  Form  of  Government. 
— Constitution  infringed.  — Opposition. — Baron  Wesselenyi. — 
County  Meetings. —  Grievances. —  General  Vlasits. —  Diet  of 
1834. — Archduke  Ferdinand. — History  of  the  Diet. — Violent 
Dissolution. — Moral  Opposition. 

A  STRANGE  little  country  is  this  Transylvania! 
Very  likely  the  reader  never  heard  its  name  before, 
and  yet  some  hundred  years  ago  it  was  in  close 
alliance  with  England;  and,  long  before  religious 
liberty,  annual  parliaments,  payment  of  members, 
and  the  election  of  magistrates  were  dreamed  of, 
amongst  us,  they  were  granted  to  Transylvania,  by 
a  solemn  charter  of  their  Prince,  the  Emperor  of 
Austria.  Here  is  this  country  on  the  very  limits 
of  European  civilization,  yet  possessing  institutions 
and  rights,  for  which  the  most  civilized  have  not 
been  thought  sufficiently  advanced. 

The  distinctions  and  differences  among  the  popu- 


lation  of  Hungary  have  offered  us  a  singular  spec- 
tacle enough,  but  the  Transylvanians  far  outpass 
them  in  these  matters,  as  they  vary  among  them- 
selves, not  only  in  language,  race,  and  religion,  but 
in  civil  laws  and  political  institutions.  The  Mag- 
yar, the  Szekler,  the  Saxon,  and  the  Wallack,  have 
all  their  rights,  but  differing  most  materially  in 
nature  and  extent  from  each  other.  The  whole 
population  of  the  country  does  not  amount  to  more 
than  two  millions,*  yet  they  have  among  them 
four  established  religions, — besides  several  others 
tolerated, — at  least  four  languages,  and  I  know  not 
how  many  different  national  customs,  prejudices, 
and  modes  of  feeling. 

It  is  not  my  intention  to  enter  upon  these 
matters  at  any  length.  Suffice  it  to  say,  that 
there  are  three  nations,  the  Magyar,  the  Szekler, 
and  the  Saxon,  which  have  each  a  part  in  the 
government  of  the  country.  They  inhabit  differ- 
ent districts ;  the  Magyars,  the  whole  west  and 
centre ;  the  Szeklers,  the  east  and  north ;  and 
the  Saxons,  the  greater  part  of  the  south ;  and 

*  The  best  statistical  authority  on  which  I  can  lay  my  hand  is 
a  small  geography  of  Transylvania,  by  Lebrecht,  published  as  far 
back  as  1804.  The  whole  population  is  estimated  at  1,458,559 
(without  the  clergy);  of  these,  729,316  are  Wallacks;  about 
358,596  Magyars;  about  123,085  Szeklers;  181,790  Saxons; 
while  of  Gipsies,  Jews,  Greeks,  Armenians,  and  Bulgarians,  there 
are  about  65,772.  In  the  "  Transylvania"  published  in  1833, 
it  is  conjectured  to  have  risen  to  2,034,375,  including  the 
Transylvanian  military  Borderers. 


with  these  are  mixed  up  a  number  of  Wallacks, 
Gipsies,  Jews,  Armenians,  &c.  In  order  to  give 
the  English  reader  some  idea  of  this  country,  and  of 
its  present  state,  I  believe  it  will  be  best  to  dedicate 
a  page  or  two  to  its  previous  history. 

When  the  Romans  finally  retired  from  Dacia, 
and  Aurelian  offered  as  many  of  the  inhabitants  as 
chose  to  accept  it,  a  refuge  in  Mresia,  which  he 
named  his  Dacia,*  the  country  was  left  defence- 
less, and  open  to  the  incursions  of  those  barbarous 
hordes  which  in  turn  cursed  Europe  with  their  de- 
vastating presence.  The  greater  part  of  these  seem 
to  have  passed  and  repassed  Transylvania,  without 
either  effecting  the  total  destruction  of  the  Dacians, 
or  being  able  to  establish  themselves  in  the  country. 
Of  one  of  them,  however,  a  considerable  number  — 
whether  cut  off  from  the  principal  body  of  the 
enemy,  or  separated  by  some  quarrel  among  them- 
selves, or  stationed  to  retain  a  command  of  the 
mountain-passes,  and  so  facilitate  a  return,  is  un- 
known —  were  left  behind  the  rest ;  and  there  their 
descendants  remain  to  the  present  day.  These 
are  the  Szeklers. 

From  which  of  these  savage  nations  the  Szeklers, 
or  Siculi,  are  derived,  is  one  of  those  historical 
puzzles  in  which  the  learned  of  Hungary,  are  fond 
of  losing  themselves.  Attila  and  his  Huns,  having 
gained  the  widest  renown,  if  not  the  best,  Szekler 

*  The  Wallacks,  still  found  in  some  parts  of  Bulgaria,  are 
probably  the  descendants  of  those  who  followed  Aurelian. 


antiquaries  generally  fix  on  them  as  their  fore- 
fathers. But,  be  that  as  it  may,  the  Magyars 
found  them  where  they  now  are,  on  their  entering 
the  country  in  the  tenth  century ;  and  as  they  were 
evidently  of  the  same  family  —  for  their  language, 
features,  character,  all  declare  them  Magyars, — 
they  were  received  into  favour,  and  allowed  to  re- 
tain free  possession  of  their  lands,  on  condition  of 
guarding  the  frontier. 

The  Magyars  made  themselves  masters  of  Dacia 
and  Pannonia  as  early  as  the  beginning  of  the 
tenth  century,  and  from  that  time  till  1526,  Tran- 
sylvania was  little  more  than  a  part  of  Hungary, 
though  it  must  be  confessed  a  very  unruly  part.  A 
certain  degree  of  independence  is  still  maintained. 
It  was  governed  by  a  Woiwode  appointed  by  the 
King  of  Hungary,  who  seems  to  have  held  Diets 
to  consult  with  the  nobles  on  the  affairs  of  the 
country.  These  meetings  were  sometimes  even  pre- 
sided over  by  the  Kings  of  Hungary  themselves. 
During  the  greater  part  of  this  period,  Transylvania 
was  rarely  without  suffering  the  evils  of  domestic 
or  foreign  warfare,  and  so  terribly  was  the  popula- 
tion diminished,  that  whole  tracts  of  country  lay 
waste  for  want  of  cultivators.  To  supply  this  defi- 
ciency, foreign  colonists  were  invited  to  re-people 
the  wasted  districts.  As  early  as  the  middle  of 
the  twelfth  century,  a  colony  of  Germans,  from 
the  Rhine  country,  were  tempted  by  the  offer  of 
a  fertile  soil,  and  by  a  promise  of  the  enjoyment 


of  their  own  customs  and  religion,  as  well  as  of 
certain  other  privileges,  to  settle  in  the  nearly  de- 
serted Transylvania.  It  is  to  this  colony  the  present 
Saxons  owe  their  origin. 

It  was  not  till  the  battle  of  Mohacs  had  reduced 
the  power  of  Hungary  to  so  low  an  ebb,  that  she 
accepted  an  Austrian  Emperor  for  her  king,  and 
till  she  so  far  forgot  her  ancient  traditions,  as 
eventually  to  establish  the  succession  hereditary 
in  that  family,  that  Transylvania,  under  Zapolya, 
threw  off  her  dependence  on  Hungary,  and  pro- 
claimed herself  an  independent  state.  Zapolya's 
views  were  not  confined  to  Transylvania;  his  ob- 
ject was  the  crown  of  Hungary,  and  it  is  certain 
that  his  schemes  during  the  weak  reign  of  Lud- 
wig  II.  constantly  tended  to  that  object,  arid  it  is 
even  suspected  that  his  absence  from  Mohacs  was 
caused  by  the  same  ambitious  motive.  Be  that  as 
it  may,  although  actually  crowned  at  Stuhlweissen- 
burg,  and  although  supported  by  a  large  party,  he 
was  unable  to  establish  himself  on  the  throne,  and 
he  was  finally  reduced  to  the  principality  of  Tran- 
sylvania, which  he  may  be  said  to  have  founded. 

Transylvania  achieved  her  independence,  if  such 
it  can  be  called,  under  bad  auspices,  for  Zapolya 
submitted  to  the  degradation  of  paying  a  tribute 
to  the  Porte,  as  the  condition  on  which  he  should 
receive  aid  against  the  arms  of  Austria.  For  more 
than  a  century  and  a  half,  Transylvania  continued 
in  this  state  of  partial  independence,  sometimes 


paying  tribute  to  the  Porte,  sometimes  seeking 
the  support  of  Austria,  but  always  throwing  off 
her  allegiance,  both  to  one  and  the  other,  the  mo- 
ment her  own  strength  or  rather  their  weakness, 
afforded  her  the  slightest  chance  of  doing  so  with 
impunity.  During  this  period,  the  country  was 
governed  by  native  princes,  generally  chosen  by 
the  Diet,  but  rarely  without  the  intervention  of 
a  Turkish  Pasha,  or  an  Austrian  ambassador,  and, 
sometimes,  they  were  nominated  by  one  of  these 
powers  without  even  the  form  of  an  election. 
Short  as  was  the  time,  Transylvanian  historians 
enumerate  with  exultation,  no  less  than  twenty- 
four  possessors  of  the  Crown,  as  if  the  number  of 
princes  increased  the  brilliancy  of  the  epoch.  Of 
these,  one  reigned  only  a  single  day,  others  not 
more  than  a  year ;  and  it  often  happened  that  two 
reigned  at  the  same  time,  the  one  acknowledging 
himself  a  vassal  of  Austria,  the  other  a  tributary 
of  the  Porte.  Of  all  these  princes,  but  few  have 
either  acquired  or  deserved  a  European  reputa- 
tion. Bethlen  Gabor,  who  presided  over  the  des- 
tinies of  Transylvania,  nearly  at  the  same  period 
as  Cromwell  over  those  of  England,  is  the  most 
striking  exception ;  like  Cromwell,  he  was  a  staunch 
adherent  to  the  doctrines  of  Calvin,  a  successful 
general,  and  a  man  of  most  determined  resolution 
and  untiring  energy.  As  a  sign  of  the  times,  rather 
than  as  a  characteristic  of  the  man,  it  may  be  men- 
tioned that  Bethlen  composed  psalms  which  are 


still  sung  in  the  Reformed  churches,  and  that  he 
read  the  bible  through  twenty  times.  Two  of 
Bethlen's  most  constant  objects  were  the  banishment 
of  the  Jesuits  from  Transylvania,  and  the  securing 
the  rights  of  the  Protestants  in  Hungary ;  but  to 
accomplish  the  first,  he  did  not  hesitate  to  perse- 
cute to  the  death,  and  the  second  seems  ^o  have 
been  rather  a  cloak  to  ambition  than  the  object 
in  which  that  ambition  centred.  The  part  which 
Bethlen  took  in  the  Thirty  Years'  War,  gave  a 
European  importance  to  Transylvania,  such  as  it 
never  before  nor  since  that  time  has  enjoyed.  For 
many  years  Bethlen's  favourite  project  was  the 
restoration  of  the  kingdom  of  Dacia,  including 
Transylvania  and  Hungary  east  of  the  Theiss,  in 
favour  of  himself,  and  the  only  reason  that  can  be 
assigned  for  his  having  abandoned  this  object  was, 
the  failure  of  heirs  to  inherit  his  power  and  glory. 
He  died  childless.  The  engagements  of  Bethlen 
with  the  chiefs  of  the  Thirty  Years'  War,  the  faith- 
lessness of  the  Jesuit  ministers  of  the  Austrian 
court,  and  the  discontent  of  the  Protestants  of 
Hungary,  together  with  his  own  ambition,  made  the 
life  of  this  prince  a  constant  series  of  intrigues  and 
wars.  That  his  character  should  come  out  quite 
clear  from  such  a  trial  is  hardly  to  be  expected ; 
indeed,  in  the  intricate  mazes  of  policy,  there  seems 
to  have  been  few  paths,  however  tortuous,  which  he 
did  not  tread;  yet  it  is  impossible  not  to  admire 
the  greatness  of  his  designs,  the  fertility  of  his 

188  CIVIL   WARS. 

resources,  his  diplomatic  skill,  and  the  noble  prin- 
ciple of  religious  liberty,  for  which  he  professed 
to  struggle. 

What  the  strength  and  cunning  of  a  Bethlen 
Gabor  was  unable  to  hold  in  peace  and  security, 
the  comparative  feebleness  of  his  successors  ren- 
dered a,  perpetual  object  of  contest.  For  a  long 
series  of  years,  Transylvania  was  engaged  in  wars, 
half  political,  half  religious,  in  which  neither  the 
bigotry  of  the  mass  was  rendered  respectable  by  its 
sincerity,  nor  the  restless  turbulence  of  the  chiefs 
by  their  faith  or  disinterestedness.  The  Protestants 
of  the  mountains  of  Transylvania,  and  the  half 
nomad  population  of  the  plains  of  Hungary,  were 
ever  ready  to  engage  in  expeditions,  where  their 
faith  was  to  be  defended,  and  plunder  to  be  gained. 
Nor  were  adventurous  leaders  wanting ;  who,  if 
they  did  not  gain  freedom  from  the  struggle,  rarely 
failed  to  increase  their  patrimony  by  obtaining  rich 
grants  of  lands  ere  their  zeal  could  be  cooled.  As 
the  first  battle  of  Mohacs  may  be  said  to  have  given 
rise  to  this  state,  so  the  second  battle  of  Mohacs 
may  be  considered  to  have  put  an  end  to  it. 

It  has  often  astonished  me  to  hear  Transylva- 
nians  speak  of  the  period  during  which  they  were 
ruled  by  native  princes,  as  the  golden  age  of  their 
history,  the  epoch  of  national  glory,  the  time  to 
which  their  national  songs  and  legends  all  relate. 
Is  it  that  national  independence  has  such  charms 
for  a  people,  that  civil  war,  with  all  its  horrors, 


foreign  invasion,  with  all  its  suite  of  crimes,  can  be 
forgotten  under  the  influence  of  its  magic  name  ? 
It  must  be  so ;  and  yet  are  there  men  who  dare  to 
mock  such  sentiments,  and  who  dispose  of  nations 
with  as  little  regard  to  their  feelings  as  if  they 
were  flocks  of  sheep. 

Perhaps,  too,  it  may  be  that  this  period  was  the 
one  most  fruitful  in  the  establishment  of  free 
institutions,  of  which  the  benefits  are  still  felt.  If 
the  weakness  of  Transylvanian  princes  gave  a  vast 
weight  to  the  demands  of  the  aristocracy,  their 
need  of  support  during  such  long  wars,  induced 
them  to  extend  the  privileges  of  that  aristocracy 
to  so  great  a  number  as  to  render  it  almost  a 
democracy.  It  is  to  this  circumstance  we  must 
attribute  the  character  of  freedom  which  distin- 
guishes the  institutions  of  Transylvania. *  It  was 
no  longer  a  privileged  few  demanding  power  to 
restrain  the  suffering  many.  The  aristocracy  be- 
came a  people,  demanding  liberty  for  all,  except  the 
conquered  part  of  the  nation.  The  establishment  of 
equal  rights  for  four  denominations,  at  a  time  when 
all  the  rest  of  Europe  was  persecuting  for  religion's 
sake,  was  an  act  so  far  above  the  paltry  spirit  of 

*  Transylvania  can  scarely  be  considered  an  aristocracy  any 
more  than  America  can.  The  native  Indians  and  negroes  of 
America  —  the  free  negroes  of  the  north,  I  mean,  for  Transyl- 
vania knows  nothing  so  degrading  as  absolute  slavery — occupy 
the"  place  of  the  gipsies  and  Wallacks  of  Transylvania ;  the 
rest  of  the  inhabitants  of  both  countries  enjoying  nearly  equal 


oligarchic  legislation,  that  we  can  account  for  it 
in  no  other  way  than  by  reference  to  that  great 
extension  of  political  rights  enjoyed  by  the  Transyl- 
vanians,  and  which  was  in  a  great  measure  achieved 
under  their  native  princes. 

Another  circumstance  which  has  made  the  Tran- 
sylvanians  look  back  to  the  government  of  their 
native  princes  with  affection  and  regret,  is  the 
frightful  persecutions  to  which,  in  the  earlier  times 
of  their  subjection,  they  were  exposed  at  the  hands 
of  foreign  masters,  and  in  later  days,  the  violence 
with  which  their  constitutional  rights  have  been 
trampled  under  foot.  The  names  of  Basta,  Caraffa, 
and  Heister,  generals  of  Austria,  to  whom  the  task 
of  oppressing  Transylvania  was  in  turn  committed, 
are  never  mentioned  without  a  shudder,  even  to  the 
present  time.  The  peasant  still  tells  his  children 
of  the  sad  days  when  Basta,  after  having  taken 
all  their  cattle,  harnessed  their  forefathers  to  his 
waggons,  and  thus  supplied  his  army  with  forage 
and  transport.* 

Without  attempting  to  trace  the  constitutional 
history  of  Transylvania  step  by  step,  through  its 
various  phases  of  developement,  it  may  be  worth 
while  to  pause  a  moment,  and  examine  its  great 
foundation-stone,  the  celebrated  Diploma  Leopoldi- 
num,  as  it  not  only  contains  the  chief  elements  of 
the  form  of  government  which  has  been  in  opera- 

*  A  kind  of  wheelbarrow  was  introduced  for  that  purpose  by 
Basta,  and  they  are  still  called  Basta  szeker,  or  Basta's  carriages. 


tion  from  the  day  on  which  it  was  granted  to  the 
present,  but  may  serve  also  to  give  us  some  notion 
of  the  progress  made  by  the  nation  previous  to  the 
period  when  it  was  obtained.  The  want  of  good 
historians  of  Transylvania, — at  least  in  the  German 
language,  and  I  believe  also  in  the  Hungarian, — the 
disturbed  and  unsettled  character  of  the  period 
itself,  and  the  fact  that  the  institutions  were  then 
rather  forming  than  formed,  must  be  our  excuse  for 
not  entering  more  fully  into  the  political  condition 
of  the  country,  previous  to  the  date  of  the  Dip- 
loma. It  is  certain,  however,  that  the  princes 
were  elected,*  but  the  form  of  election  was  exceed- 
ingly indeterminate,  and  the  supreme  power  was 
more  frequently  obtained  by  force  of  arms  than  by 
a  majority  of  votes.  The  Diets  were  held  annually 
under  some  princes,  nearly  dispensed  with  by  others. 
The  members  were  in  part  elected,  in  part  nomi- 
nated, and  in  part,  I  suspect,  even  hereditary. 

In  judging  of  the  state  of  legislation  previous  to 
the  Diploma  Leopoldinum,  it  must  not  be  forgotten 
that  Austria  obtained  the  election  of  the  Emperor, 
as  Prince  of  Transylvania,  chiefly  through  the  in- 

*  I  have  been  astonished  to  hear  really  sensible  men  refer  to 
the  time  when  they  elected  to, — that  is  quarrelled  for,  fought  for, 
intrigued  for,  bribed  for,  betrayed  for,— the  throne  as  a  period  of 
glory,  and  the  loss  of  that  privilege  as  the  greatest  misfortune. 
I,  on  the  contrary,  believe  sincerely  that  the  greatest — some  might 
say  the  only — advantage  Hungary  and  Transylvania  have  received 
from  their  connexion  with  Austria,  is  the  loss  of  this  right,  and 
the  establishment  of  an  hereditary  succession  to  the  crown. 


fluence  of  treachery  on  the  part  of  one  or  two 
Transylvanians,  seconded  by  the  weakness  of  the 
aged  Prince  Apaffi,  and  by  the  presence  of  a  large 
army  under  Caraffa,  and  that  the  Diploma  was, 
therefore,  little  more  than  a  compromise,  forced  on 
the  country,  between  the  absolute  principle  of  the 
Austrian  Government,  and  the  almost  republican 
forms  then  in  use  in  Transylvania. 

The  first  article  of  the  Diploma  gives  an  assur- 
ance of  equal  rights  to  the  four  religions, — viz.,  the 
Catholic,  Lutheran,  Reformed,  and  Unitarian,  and 
the  permission  to  build  new  churches  wherever  their 
numbers  may  require  them. 

The  second  secures  to  each  religion,  all  the  lands, 
tithes,  benefices,  foundations,  churches,  schools,  &c., 
then  actually  possessed  by  them,  although  they  may 
have  belonged  formerly  to  the  Catholics. 

The  third  insures  the  Transylvanians  the  enjoy- 
ment of  their  civil  privileges,  according  to  the  esta- 
blished laws  of  Hungary,  while  by  the  Saxons  their 
own  municipal  organization  is  to  be  retained. 

By  the  fourth  it  is  promised  that  nothing  shall 
be  changed  in  the  form  of  government,  in  the 
appointment  of  the  Privy  Council,  in  the  constitu- 
tion of  the  Diet,  the  manner  of  voting,  or  the  admi- 
nistration of  justice,  except  the  right  of  appeal  to 
the  Crown. 

The  fifth  excludes  foreigners  from  the  possession 
of  offices. 

By    the  sixth    it  is    declared    that  property   re- 


verting  to  the  Crown,  by  the  extinction  of  families, 
shall  be  bestowed  on  other  deserving  persons,  and 
that  Transylvanians  possessing  property  in  Hungary 
shall  enjoy  it  with  the  same  rights  as  Hunga- 

By  the  seventh  it  is  stipulated  that  the  President 
of  the  Privy  Council,  the  Commander-in-chief  of 
the  Transylvanian  Militia,  the  Chancellor,  the  mem- 
bers of  the  Privy  Council,  the  Prothonotaries,  and 
other  high  dignitaries,  must  be  natives  chosen  by 
the  Diet,  although  requiring  the  royal  assent  to  their 

By  the  eighth  it  is  provided  that  in  the  Privy 
Council  a  fourth  of  the  members  shall  be  Catholics, 
as  likewise  in  the  supreme  courts  of  justice. 

By  the  ninth  an  annual  Diet  is  guaranteed,  the 
dissolution  to  depend  on  the  royal  will. 

It  is  stipulated  by  the  tenth  that  the  Governor 
shall  reside  in  the  country,  and  that  he,  as  well  as 
the  Privy  Council  and  the  members  of  the  court 
of  justice,  shall  be  paid  by  the  Crown. 

It  is  agreed  by  the  eleventh  that  in  peace  the 
country  shall  pay  an  annual  tribute  of  fifty  thou- 
sand thalers;  in  time  of  war,  against  Hungary 
and  Transylvania,  four  hundred  thousand  florins, 
including  supplies  delivered  in  kind.  The  assess- 
ment of  this  sum  to  be  left  to  the  Diet.  All  other 
charges  are  to  be  borne  by  the  Crown  out  of  the 
Kammeral  revenues  derived  from  the  Fiscal  estates, 
salt-tax,  metal  tax,  among  the  Saxons  the  cus- 

VOL.  n.  o 


toms'  tenth,  and  in  the  Hungarian  counties  the  tithe 

By  the  twelfth  the  free  Szeklers  are  to  remain 
tax  free,  but  bound  to  do  military  service. 

The  thirteenth  provides  that  the  taxes,  duties, 
and  customs  shall  not  be  increased  beyond  what 
they  had  previously  been. 

By  the  fourteenth  the  tithes  are  to  be  rented  by 
the  land  owners,  but  the  fiscus  is  to  receive  the 
arenda  canon  or  composition. 

By  the  fifteenth  the  country  is  required  to  main- 
tain troops  for  its  occupation  and  protection  under 
the  command  of  an  Austrian  general ;  but  he  is 
not  to  mix  in  civil  affairs,  and  must  maintain  a 
good  understanding  with  the  Governor,  the  Diet, 
and  the  Privy  Council,  in  matters  of  war. 

By  the  sixteenth  the  people  are  to  be  relieved 
from  the  burden  of  supporting  and  lodging  travel- 
lers, by  the  establishment  of  posts  and  inns. 

Although  the  Austrian  power  was  long  rendered 
uncertain  by  a  series  of  civil  wars,  in  which  Tran- 

*  This  tithe-rent  arises  from  the  secularization  of  all  the  church 
property  under  one  of  the  princes, — I  think  the  Unitarian  Zapolya 
Zsigmund.  Previous  to  that  time  the  nobles  had  paid  tithe  to 
the  church,  they  were  now  to  pay  it  to  the  fiscus.  As  the  collec- 
tion in  kind  more  than  swallowed  up  the  profits  of  the  tax,  it 
was  generally  let,  or  compounded  for,  by  a  fixed  sum  of  money, 
paid  by  the  nobles,  who  had  then  the  right  to  collect  the  tithe 
from  their  own  peasants.  This  composition  is  paid  to  the  present 
\  ^ay. — A  great  part  of  the  TransylvaniaiL  clergy  of^the  established 
religions  are  pai^by  the  government.  The  Greek  church  alone, 
entirely  maintains  its.  own. 




sylvania  took  a  leading  part,  it  was  finally  esta- 
blished on  a  firm  basis,  and,  as  the  Austrian  party 
grew  stronger,  the  more  liberal  articles  of  the  di- 
ploma were  gradually  invaded,  but  the  monarchs, 
nevertheless,  continued  to  swear  to  their  observance, 
and  no  legal  modification  was  ever  made  in  its  pro- 
visions. Maria  Theresa  imitated  her  predecessors, 
and  adopted  the  diploma  in  all  its  extent,  requiring 
only  that  the  Diet,  in  return,  should  formally  re- 
nounce the  right  of  electing  the  Prince,  and  accept 
the  Pragmatic  Sanction  establishing  the  succession 
in  her,  and  her  descendants.  Here,  as  in  Hungary, 
during  the  latter  years  of  Maria  Theresa's  reign, 
and  during  the  whole  of  Joseph's,  the  constitution 
was  in  abeyance,  nor,  during  the  very  few  occasions 
on  which  the  Diet  was  called  together,  towards  the 
end  of  the  eighteenth  and  the  beginning  of  the 
nineteenth  centuries,  did  any  important  change 
take  place.  The  long  wars  in  which  Austria  be- 
came engaged  soon  after,  furnished  an  excuse  for 
ruling  without  a  Diet,  and  so  matters  remained  till 

The  actual  form  of  government  then,  as  settled 
by  the  Diploma  Leopoldinum,  and  according  to 
law, — if  not  always  according  to  fact, —  existing  at 
the  present  time,  is  nearly  as  follows  : — 

A  Governor,  aided  by  a  Privy  Council,  Secre- 
taries, and  others,  corresponding  with  the  Transyl- 
vanian  chancery  at  Vienna, — in  other  words,  acting 
under  the  direction  of  an  Austrian  minister, — con- 

o  2 


stitute  the  executive,  whilst  the  legislative  is  formed 
by  a  Diet,  to  be  held  every  year.  The  appointment 
of  the  executive  is  to  be  vested  jointly  in  the  Diet 
and  the  Crown.*  For  every  office  the  Diet  is  to 
candidate  or  nominate  three  individuals  from  each 
of  the  received  religions,  that  is  twelve  persons  for 
each  office,  from  among  whom  the  Crown  appoints 

The  Diet  itself  forms  only  one  body,  though  it 
is  composed  of  various  elements.  Every  county  and 
free  town  sends  its  members, — the  Magyars  about 
forty-six,  the  Szeklers  eighteen,  and  the  Saxons 
eighteen  also ;  the  members  of  the  towns  in  Tran- 
sylvania have  the  same  rights  as  those  of  the  coun- 
ties ;  the  Catholic  church  sends  two  members  re- 
presentatives of  abbeys.  The  Catholic  and  united 
Greek  Bishops  claim  each  a  seat  also.  Besides 
these,  there  are  Regalists,  as  they  are  called  (a  sort 
of  Peers),  who  sit  and  vote  with  the  others,  but 
who  are  not  endowed  with  any  other  power  or  title 
in  consequence.  Some  of  these  are  nominated  by 
the  Crown  for  life,  others  have  seats  in  virtue  of 
their  office,  as  the  Lords  Lieutenant,  Privy  Coun- 
sellors, and  Secretaries.  The  number  of  Regalists 
is  said  to  have  been  limited  to  eighty-nine  by  Maria 
Theresa,  but  this  regulation  has  been  grossly  infring- 
ed, the  present  number  exceeding  two  hundred. 

*  This  is  a  disputed  point  which  I  do  not  pretend  to  decide, 
but  merely  state  how  it  actually  takes  place ;  whether  right  or 
wrong,  I  leave  others  to  determine. 


Besides  the  candidation  of  the  executive,  the 
duties  of  the  Diet  may  be  said  to  consist,  in  the 
making  and  altering  of  laws  for  the  internal  govern- 
ment of  the  country,  the  voting  supplies  of  troops, 
the  levying,  but  not  voting,  the  contribution,  and 
the  conferring  the  Indigenat*  or  right  of  citizenship 
upon  strangers. 

The  Municipal  Government  of  the  counties  and 
towns  is  nearly  the  same  as  that  of  Hungary,  except 
among  the  Saxons,  of  whose  form  of  local  govern- 
ment we  shall  speak  further  hereafter. 

From  the  little  we  have  said,  it  is  easy  to  see  how 
grossly  the  institutions  of  Transylvania  have  been 
violated;  and  one  far  better  able  to  judge  than 
we  can  possibly  be,  Baron  Kemeny  Denes,  has 
publicly  declared,  "  that  of  the  whole  Diploma 
Leopoldinum  but  one  article  has  been  faithfully 
observed,  and  that  is  the  one  stipulating  that  the 
general  commanding  the  troops  should  be  a  Ger- 

The  length  of  time  which  elapsed  without  the 
assembling  of  the  States,  and  the  consequent  illegal 
appointment  of  all  the  chief  officers;  the  neglect 
to  call  the  county-meetings,  and  the  want  of  legal 

*  Although  the  king  can  make  any  Hungarian  peasant  noble, 
he  cannot  confer  on  a  foreigner,  not  even  on  an  Austrian  subject, 
the  rights  of  Hungarian  nobility ;  this  power,  both  in  Hungary 
and  Transylvania,  the  Diet  reserves  to  itself.  The  Indigenat  tax 
— in  Hungary  two  thousand,  and  in  Transylvania  one  thousand 
ducats — is  often  remitted  as  a  compliment  to  the  person  on  whom 
the  right  of  citizenship  is  conferred. 


sanction  to  all  the  municipal  proceedings,  were  fast 
destroying  in  the  minds  of  the  people  all  confidence 
in  the  faith  of  the  Government,  all  trust  in  its  officers, 
and  almost  all  respect  for  the  laws  they  administered. 
A  corrupt  bureaucracy,  whose  interest  it  was  to 
maintain  this  order,  or  rather  disorder,  of  things, 
because  by  its  illegality  alone  could  its  members 
exist,  was  fast  demoralizing  the  country  by  an  ex- 
hibition of  the  basest  subserviency  to  power,  and  of 
the  most  open  contempt  for  every  principle  of 
honour  and  honesty. 

Fortunately  the  very  excess  of  its  viciousness 
was  the  cause  of  saving  the  country.  A  number 
of  well-meaning  men,  who  had  consented  to  aid 
Joseph  in  his  constitutional  violence,  because  they 
saw  it  associated  with  so  much  that  was  enlightened 
and  good,  shrunk  with  horror  from  a  system  which 
alike  violated  the  rights  of  the  nation,  and  the 
rights  of  man.  The  staunch  Conservative  party, 
which  had  never  been  juggled  out  of  its  consistency 
by  any  pretence  of  amelioration,  and  which  loved 
old  things  because  they  were  old,  still  hated  the 
innovators,  however  they  might  otherwise  have 
liked  their  principles;  and  besides  these,  a  new 
party  had  arisen  far  more  powerful  than  all  the 
others.  The  progress  made  in  the  West  of  Europe, 
during  the  last  quarter  of  a  century,  in  the  esta- 
blishment of  rational  freedom,  was  not  without  its 
effect  even  in  this  distant  part  of  the  globe.  In 
vain  the  youth  of  Transylvania  were  forbidden  to 

PARTIES.  199 

exercise  their  ancient  privilege  of  visiting  foreign 
universities;  in  vain  the  strictest  censorship  en- 
deavoured to  suppress  and  mutilate  the  truth ; 
liberal  facts,  and  liberal  principles  found  their  way 
into  the  country,  and  a  Liberal  party  was  gradually 
formed.  By  this  party  the  ancient  institutions 
were  all  the  more  closely  cherished,  because  they 
were  free;  nor  were  there  wanting  among  them 
those  who  felt  that  stronger  guarantees  were  re- 
quired for  the  observance  of  these  institutions,  and 
above  all,  that  it  was  necessary  to  extend  the  pri- 
vileges, now  exclusively  enjoyed  by  the  nobles,  to 
the  other  classes  of  society.  The  greater  portion 
of  this  party,  however,  have  no  higher  wish  than  to 
return  to  the  strict  letter  of  the  constitution,  as 
enjoyed  by  their  ancestors,  and  sworn  to  by  the 
Emperor,  and  they  claim  therefore  for  themselves 
the  title  of  conservatives,  and  denounce  their  ad- 
versaries as  destructives. 

The  events  of  1830,  which  shook  all  Europe  to 
its  basis,  gave  a  voice,  in  Transylvania,  to  those 
feelings  of  discontent  which  had  been  long  enter- 
tained in  secret,  and  the  country,  as  with  one  accord, 
demanded  that  the  county-meetings  should  be  sum- 
moned, and  a  Diet  called  together. 

A  really  strong  popular  feeling  rarely  wants  a 
good  leader  to  direct  its  expression  ;  in  Transylvania 
such  a  leader  was  found  in  Baron  Wesselenyi 
Miklos.  In  addition  to  the  advantages  of  rank 
and  fortune,  Wesselenyi  possesses  so  much  energy 


and  courage,  so  much  truth  and  sincerity,  and 
withal  an  eloquence  so  powerful,  that  it  is  not 
astonishing  he  was  soon  acknowledged  as  the  head 
of  the  party. 

The  first  point  conceded  by  Government  was 
the  county-meetings,  and  these  were  immediately 
taken  advantage  of  to  give  expression  to  public 
opinion.  In  the  absence  of  a  free  press,  these 
meetings  were  of  the  greatest  importance ;  they 
operated  as  safety  valves,  which,  while  they  may 
have  given  vent  to  some  useless  vapour,  served  to 
inform  the  observer  under  how  great  a  pressure  the 
machine  was  labouring. 

Wessele*nyi,  and  a  party  of  his  friends,  purchased 
small  portions  of  land  in  every  county,  that  they 
might  have  the  right  of  attending,  and  of  speaking 
at  every  public  meeting.  They  had  no  lack  of 
matter  for  the  exercise  of  their  oratory ;  the  uncon- 
stitutional procedure  of  withholding  the  Diet,  the 
consequent  illegal  appointment  of  the  great  officers, 
and  the  neglect  of  municipal  privileges,  were 
all  subjects  for  eloquent  declamation.  Then,  too, 
since  the  last  Diet,  no  less  than  twenty  thou- 
sand soldiers  had  been  raised  in  Transylvania  with- 
out the  consent  of  the  nation.  The  taxes, — 
that  subject  which  touches  the  most  indifferent, 
and  in  which  some  men  believe  the  whole  science 
of  politics  to  consist,  —  were  open  enough  to 
animadversion;  for  from  the  300,000  florins  sti- 
pulated in  the  Diploma,  they  had  been  arbitrarily 


raised  to  upwards  of  a  million  and  a  half.*  The 
salt  tax  too,  which  the  Government  had  been 
allowed  to  increase  during  the  war,  still  continued 
at  the  war  rate  after  fifteen  years  of  peace.  The 
export  and  import  duties,  which  the  Diploma  ex- 
pressly declared  should  not  be  altered,  had  been 
raised  so  high  as  to  be  prohibitory. 

The  grievances  of  the  Protestants  were  deep,  and* 
from  their  numbers  and  intelligence,  of  much  im- 
portance :  they  demanded  that  they  should  enjoy 
their  rights,  and  be  admitted  to  places  of  trust  and 
profit  equally  with  the  Catholics  ;  they  objected  to 
the  forced  observance  of  Catholic  holidays,  and 
they  protested  against  the  injustice  of  forcing  the 
Catholics,  who  wished  to  become  Protestants,  to 
undergo  six  weeks'  instruction  from  a  priest,  while 
the  Protestant  was  received  into  the  Catholic 
church  without  the  slightest  difficulty  being  thrown 
in  his  way. 

The  Szeklers  were  discontented  that  one  por- 
tion of  their  nation  were  obliged  both  to  serve  in 
the  army  and  to  pay  taxes  ;  and  the  Saxons  —  even 
the  quiet  submissive  Saxons  —  were  not  without 
their  griefs.  Their  municipal  constitution  had  been 
completely  changed,  and  instead  of  being  governed 

*  The  exact  amount  of  the  present  contribution  is  not  known. 
The  mode  of  levying  it  has  been  completely  changed  ;  a  fixed 
sum  is  paid  by  the  peasant  for  his  land  per  acre,  and  for  his 
cattle,  sheep,  &c.,  so  much  per  head,  without  any  relation  to  any 
stipulated  agreement,  so  that  the  tax  goes  on  increasing  in  amount 
probably  every  year. 


by  officers  freely  elected  by  the  people,  they  found 
themselves  delivered  over  to  the  tender  mercies  of 
a  self-elected  bureaucracy. 

These,  and  a  host  of  minor  abuses,  which  had 
crept  into  the  administration  from  the  want  of 
due  popular  control,  formed  the  subject-matter 
of  the  harangues  of  Wesselenyi  and  his  friends, 
and  they  were  insisted  on  with  a  degree  of  courage 
and  energy  which  lent  force  to  their  acknowledged 
truth.  The  Liberals  carried  the  day  at  almost  every 
meeting  at  which  they  presented  themselves  ;  peti- 
tions and  remonstrances,  more  loud  and  more  angry 
as  delay  exhausted  the  patience  of  the  petitioners, 
crowded  the  archives  of  the  Chancery :  petitions 
and  remonstrances  soon  grew  into  demands,  and 
demands  at  last  assumed  the  form  of  threats.  Ba- 
ron Wesselenyi  publicly  announced  his  intention  to 
allow  no  soldiers  to  be  levied  on  his  estates  till  a 
Diet  had  been  granted.  Not  only  individuals,  but 
several  counties  follow  his  example. 

In  the  mean  time  Baron  Josika,  the  Court  nomi- 
nated governor,  overlooking  the  legal  and  constitu- 
tional character  of  the  opposition,  saw  nothing  but 
revolution  in  these  demonstrations,  and  he  is  said 
to  have  written  the  most  exaggerated  reports  of 
their  danger  to  Vienna,  and  to  have  demanded  a 
supply  of  troops  to  repress  them. 

So  violent  a  measure  seems  to  have  startled  even 
the  Court  itself,  and  though  troops  were  sent,  they 
sent  with  them  a  commissioner,  General  Vlasits, 


•with  power  to  inquire  into  the  state  of  the  country, 
and  to  apply  the  necessary  remedies  to  the  existing 
evils.  On  a  certain  day  the  county-meetings  were 
assembled  in  every  part  of  Transylvania,  and  an 
edict  of  the  Crown  was  published,  denouncing  the 
decision  of  the  former  meetings,  as  illegal  and 
null,  and  promising  them  a  Diet  and  the  reform 
of  abuses,  on  condition  of  their  retracting  the 
offensive  resolutions. 

Although  several  of  the  counties  refused  to  adopt 
this  suggestion  and  stultify  their  former  acts,  Gen- 
eral Vlasits  reported  the  country  to  be  in  perfect 
tranquillity,  and  the  reports  of  the  revolution,  which 
he  had  been  sent  down  to  quell,  without  a  shadow 
of  foundation.  The  conduct  of  Vlasits  though  en- 
trusted with  so  delicate  a  mission,  secured  for  him 
even  the  respect  and  esteem  of  those  most  strongly 
opposed  to  him  ;  but  by  the  Court,  his  efforts  were 
not  favourably  regarded,  and  he  was  shortly  after- 
wards recalled. 

The  moment,  however,  was  now  come  when  it 
was  thought  no  longer  safe  to  resist  the  popular 
wish.  The  Court  knew  full  well  that  Wessele'nyi* 

*  A  short  time  previous  to  this,  when  Wesselenyi  was  attend- 
ing a  levee  of  the  Emperor  at  Presburg,  the  sovereign,  in  making 
his  round  of  the  circle,  stopped  opposite  our  Transylvanian,  already 
distinguished  as  a  Liberal  leader,  and,  shaking  his  head  very  omi- 
nously, addressed  him,  "  Take  care,  Baron  Wesselenyi,  take  care 
what  you  are  about  !  recollect  that  many  of  your  family  have  been 
unfortunate  !" — (His  father  was  confined  for  seven  years  in  the 
Kuffstein.)  "  Unfortunate,  your  majesty,  they  have  been,  but  ever 


was  a  man  to  keep  his  word,  the  counties  too  were 
firm  in  supporting  him,  and,  under  such  circum- 
stances, a  collision,  in  which  the  nobles  would  ap- 
pear as  the  protectors  of  the  peasantry,  was  to  be 
avoided  at  any  price.  A  Diet  was  granted. 

In  1834  then,  the  Transylvanian  Diet  was  again 
called  together,  after  an  interval  of  twenty-three 

The  election  returns  left  no  doubt  as  to  the  state 
of  opinion  in  the  country,  even  if  any  could  have 
been  entertained  before.  The  members  of  both 
towns  and  counties  were,  with  few  exceptions, 
liberal.  The  Regalists,  by  office,  as  well  as  the 
Regalists  by  royal  appointment,  were  also  strongly 
tinctured  with  the  same  opinions  ;  and,  consequently, 
the  governor  with  his  little  band  of  faithful  officials, 
saw  before  him  nothing  but  the  melancholy  pro- 
spect of  a  certain  defeat. 

It  is  necessary  that  the  Diet  should  be  opened 
by  a  royal  commissioner;  and  the  person  chosen 
for  this  purpose  was  the  Arch-duke  Ferdinand 
d'Este,  the  brother  of  the  Duke  of  Modena,  and  a 
near  relation  of  the  Emperor.  The  influence  which 

undeserving  of  their  misfortunes  also  !  "  was  Wesselenyi's  bold  and 
honest  answer.  It  is  only  those  who  know  the  habitual  stiffness 
and  decorum  of  an  Austrian  court  that  can  conceive  the  consterna- 
tion into  which  the  whole  crowd  was  thrown  by  this  unexpected 
boldness.  Explanations  were  offered  to  Wesselenyi  to  soften  down 
the  harshness  of  the  royal  reproof,  in  hopes  of  bringing  him  to  beg 
pardon  ;  but  he  could  not  apologise  for  having  defended  the  honour 
of  his  family,  even  when  attacked  by  his  sovereign. 


the  high  rank  of  the  commissioner  might  naturally 
be  expected  to  exercise  on  the  nobility,  was  pro- 
bably calculated  upon  as  likely  to  strengthen  the 
Court  party ;  but,  unfortunately,  the  well-known 
sentiments  of  the  Arch-duke  in  favour  of  ab- 
solutism, and  the  troops  which  soon  followed  his 
arrival  gave  his  appearance  among  them  so  much 
the  air  of  an  attempt  to  overpower  and  control 
the  freedom  of  their  discussions,  that  it  only  in- 
creased the  bitterness  of  feeling  and  party  spirit 
by  which  the  country  was  divided. 

Under  such  auspices  the  Diet  opened. 

The  length  of  time  that  had  elapsed  since  the 
last  Diet  had,  among  other  consequences,  rendered 
doubtful  many  of  the  rights  and  privileges  of  the 
chamber.  At  the  very  outset,  the  Government 
disputed  the  right  of  the  chamber  to  elect  its  own 
president,  while  the  chamber  refused  to  admit  the 
nominee  of  the  Government. 

This  was  but  the  beginning  of  a  series  of  angry 
disputes,  in  which  almost  every  constitutional  ques- 
tion, in  season  or  out  of  season,  was  dragged  into 
the  discussions  ;  for  it  was  another  evil  of  the  long 
recess,  that  it  had  disaccustomed  the  leading  mem- 
bers to  those  habits  of  parliamentary  debate,  and 
those  forms  of  parliamentary  business,  on  which 
the  practical  utility  of  a  parliament  so  much  de- 
pends. One  of  the  most  interesting  of  these  ques- 
tions was,  the  publication  of  the  debates,  which 
the  Arch-duke  positively  forbade,  but  which  Wes- 


selenyi,  by  means  of  a  lithographic  press,  still  found 
means  of  carrying  on.  Another,  perhaps,  still  more 
important  question  was,  the  manner  in  which  the 
election  of  officers  should  take  place,  —  whether 
each  of  the  twelve  candidates  should  be  chosen  by 
an  absolute  majority  or  not  —  the  Liberals  contend- 
ing for  the  absolute  majority,  by  which  alone  they 
could  exert  some  influence  over  the  nomination  of 
the  Crown.  At  this  period  of  the  affair,  the  Diet 
sent  a  deputation  of  its  members  to  wait  upon  the 
Emperor,  to  disabuse  him  of  the  falsehoods  with 
which  they  believed  his  ministers  and  their  spies 
had  poisoned  his  ear  against  his  faithful  Transyl- 
vanians,  and  to  prove  to  him  that  their  objects,  so 
far  from  revolutionary,  all  tended  to  the  preservation 
only  of  their  ancient  rights  and  immunities. 

In  the  mean  time,  evil  passions  had  been  called 
into  play,  which  rendered  greater  every  day  the 
separation  between  the  two  parties.  Personal  ani- 
mosity and  private  pique,  ambitious  vanity  and 
wounded  dignity,  all  conspired  in  turns,  to  em- 
bitter the  debates.  The  conduct  of  Wessel^nyi 
himself  was  anything  but  conciliatory.  With  prin- 
ciples and  views  too  far  advanced,  probably,  both 
for  the  Government  he  wished  to  control,  and  the 
party  he  wished  to  lead,  he  grew  only  more  un- 
compromising in  their  support,  the  more  sharply 
they  were  attacked.  It  was  in  vain  that  Professor 
Szasz,  that  Count  Bethlen  Janos,  and  others  of  the 
Liberal  party,  endeavoured  to  moderate  the  de- 


mands  of  the  ultras,  or  the  mistrust  and  fears  of 
the  Absolutists.  It  was  in  vain,  the  more  cautious 
inveighed  against  the  danger  of  playing  the  lion's 
part  with  only  the  fox's  strength  ;  Wesselenyi  was 
not  a  man  to  yield,  where  he  believed  himself  right, 
and  he  steadily  refused  to  sacrifice  a  single  principle 
on  the  plea  of  expediency. 

The  political  fever  was  now  spreading  far  and 
wide,  and  the  Arch-duke  and  the  administration 
became  so  unpopular,  that  the  waverers,  the  men  of 
no  opinion,  threw  themselves  into  the  ranks  of  the 
opposition.  The  colleges,  with  all  the  enthusiasm 
of  youth,  added  their  voices  to  Wesselenyi's  de- 
mand for  liberty  and  justice.  From  the  moun- 
tains of  the  hardy  -  Szeklers  to  the  quiet  vil- 
lages of  the  cautious  Saxons,  the  cry  for  reform 
of  abuses  grew  louder  and  louder.  At  such  a  mo- 
ment, a  bold  hand,  a  comprehensive  mind,  and  an 
honest  heart  would  at  once  have  grappled  with 
the  difficulties,  offered  a  frank  reform  of  abuses, 
and  gone  in  advance  even  of  the  expectations 
of  the  people  in  correcting  acknowledged  evils. 
In  an  instant  the  whole  country  would  have  been 
at  the  foot  of  the  throne.  No  one  would  have 
ventured  to  oppose  so  fair  a  promise  of  good, 
and  Transylvania  would  have  overlooked  a  thou- 
sand past  faults  in  the  anticipation  of  a  happy 

Such,  unfortunately,  was  not  the  course  pursued. 
On  the  24th  of  May,  Wessele'riyi  had  presented  to 


the  chamber  his  lithographic  press,  had  claimed  for 
it  the  protection  of  the  country,  and  had  seen  it 
accepted  with  acclamations.  A  few  hours  later, 
and  a  proclamation  from  the  Emperor  had  dis- 
solved the  Diet,  suspended  the  constitution,  and 
nominated  the  Arch-duke  absolute  governor  of 
the  country  ! 

A  denouement  so  sudden  and  so  unexpected, 
produced  the  most  extraordinary  sensation.  Angry 
words  were  exchanged  between  the  parties,  and 
in  the  excitement  of  the  moment,  a  sabre  is  said 
to  have  started  from  its  scabbard ;  but,  fortu- 
nately, the  leaders  restrained  these  ebullitions  of 
feeling,  and  the  chamber  separated  in  perfect 
quiet.  What  was  their  surprise  on  leaving  the 
hall,  to  find  the  streets  lined  with  troops,  and 
everything  bearing  the  aspect  of  a  military  de- 
monstration ? 

Intimidation  was  probably  the  object  aimed  at, 
for  I  will  not  for  a  moment  suspect  the  Govern- 
ment of  having  wished  to  provoke  a  movement 
that  they  might  thus  dispose  the  more  easily  of 
their  antagonists  :  the  loyal  and  honourable  cha- 
racter of  the  Arch-duke  forbids  such  a  suspicion, 
even  should  that  of  some  of  his  counsellors  pro- 
voke it.  Intimidation  was  probably  the  sole  ob- 
ject, but  never  was  a  purpose  more  signally 

It  was  immediately  determined,  that  without 
any  appeal  to  arms,  the  strongest  moral  opposi- 


tion  should  be  offered  to  this  act  of  constitutional 
violence.  With  one  or  two  exceptions  only,  every 
man  of  character  holding  office  under  the  Crown — 
Lords-Lieutenant  of  counties,  Privy  Councillors, 
Secretaries  of  State  —  at  once  threw  up  their 
appointments,  declaring  that  they  could  no  longer 
act  with  a  Government  that  seemed  to  set  all  law 
and  justice  at  defiance.*  This  was  an  unexpected 
blow ;  the  Court  party  had  reckoned  on  the  love  of 
place  being  stronger  than  the  love  of  principle  —  a 
few  years  previously  it  would  have  been  so  — and  its 
disappointed  rage  seemed  uncontrollable.  Actions 
at  law  were  commenced  against  the  leaders  of  the 
Liberals  before  judges  certain  to  condemn  them ; 
injury  and  insult  were  heaped  upon  every  member 
of  the  party,  and  their  security  and  repose  were 
placed  entirely  at  the  disposal  of  inveterate,  and 
often  unprincipled,  enemies. 

These  events  took  place  in  the  spring  of  1834 ; 
ind,  in  the  autumn  of  1835,  everything  remained 

it  was  placed  in  the  first  moments  of  distrust 
and  violence. 

An  extraordinary  number  of  troops  were  still 
collected  in  and  about  Klausenburg,  and  were 
even  quartered  in  the  houses  of  the  nobles.  The 

*  Among  these,  the  principal  were,  Privy  Councillors,  Baron 
Kemeny  Ferenz,  and  Szek  Daniel :  Lords-Lieutenant,  Count 
Degenfeld,  Baron  Banffy  L£szlo,  Baron  B&nffy  Adam,  and  Ugron 
Istvan ;  Secretaries,  Count  Bethlen  Imre,  Ugron — and  some 
others,  besides  a  great  number  of  inferior  officers. 

VOL.  II.  P 


Archduke  Ferdinand  remained  apparently  in  mili- 
tary occupation  of  the  country,  for  he  had  no 
position  of  authority  recognised  by  the  constitution. 
All  the  vacant  places  were  filled  up  illegally,  for 
no  Diet  had  been  summoned  to  give  its  list  of 
candidates.  With  a  few  exceptions,  the  officers 
appointed  were  chosen  from  among  the  least 
respected  persons  in  the  country.  The  few  men  of 
honour  among  them  declared  publicly  that  they 
were  ashamed  of  their  associates  ;  and,  worst  of  all, 
even  the  municipal  constitution  had  been  suspended, 
and  consequently,  all  the  magistrates,  though  fairly 
elected,  had  held  their  offices  beyond  the  proper 
period,  and  all  their  acts  were  therefore  illegal. 

During  the  whole  of  this  time  the  greatest 
tranquillity  prevailed,  —  a  tranquillity  which  con- 
founded the  advocates  of  absolutism  ten  times  more 
than  would  the  most  violent  revolt.  Incapable  of 
understanding  the  confidence  which  freemen  feel  in 
the  justice  and  righteousness  of  their  cause,  they 
cannot  estimate,  and  therefore  cannot  oppose  the 
moral  courage  which  suffers  in  the  full  conviction, 
that  its  suffering  will  eventually  work  out  a  remedy 
for  the  evil. 

In  such  a  state  was  the  political  horizon  of 
Transylvania  when  we  reached 




Transylvanian  Roads. — A  Solitary  Inn. — Dr£g. — Zsibo.—  Horse-- 
breeding.— Old  Transylvanian  Breed. — Count  Banffy's  Stud. — 
English  Breed. — Baron  Wesselenyi's  Stud. — A  Cross. — Babolna 
Arabs. — Interesting  Experiment. — R6kotzy.  — Robot. — Ride 
to  Hadad.  —  The  Vintage.  —  Transylvanian  Wines.  —  Oak 
Woods. — Scotch  Farmer.  —A  Reformer's  Trials.  —  State  of  the 
Peasantry.  —  Urbarium.  —  Stewards.  —  Establishments  of  the 
Nobles. — Social  Anomalies. — Old  Fashions — The  Dinner. — 
Drive  to  Nagy  Banya.  —  Gipsies.  —  Gold  Mines.  —  Private 
Speculations. — Return. 

BEFORE  the  winter  set  in,  there  was  yet  a 
promise  of  a  week  or  two  of  fine  weather ;  and 
we  were  recommended  to  avail  ourselves  of  it,  to 
visit  some  interesting  objects  in  the  north  of  the 

p  2 


I  believe  my  duty,  as  an  honest  chronicler  of  my 
travels,  would  be  to  give  the  reader  at  least  two 
pages  of  tirade  against  the  bad  roads  of  Transyl- 
vania ;  for  if  I  do  not,  how  can  I  convey  to  him 
an  impression  of  the  misery  we  suffered  while  we 
were  dragged  over  or  rather  through  them?  But 
lest  he  should  grow  as  tired  of  hearing  of  them  as 
we  did  of  travelling  on  them,  I  will  spare  him  the 
infliction,  and  content  myself  with  saying  that  we 
now  occupied  three  days  in  accomplishing  what  one 
day  suffices  for  in  summer. 

Our  first  halt  was  at  a  lone  country  inn  —  a  sort 
of  caravansary  in  the  desert — for  I  do  not  recollect 
that  we  had  seen  a  house  for  two  hours  before  we 
reached  it.  About  an  acre  of  ground,  forming  the 
yard,  was  enclosed  with  a  strong  fence,  and  held 
the  dwelling-house,  the  waggon-shed,  some  stables, 
and  a  well.  A  more  solitary  spot  I  have  rarely 
seen;  the  hills  all  round  were  covered  with  a 
scanty  pasture,  the  road  was  only  a  muddy  track, 
and  there  were  no  signs  of  cultivation  or  habitation 
within  a  circuit  of  many  miles. 

At  Drag,  which  we  did  not  reach  till  sometime 
after  nightfall,  we  were  hospitably  entertained  by 
the  Seigneur  of  the  place ;  for  we  were  obliged  to 
have  recourse  to  our  letters  of  introduction  here, 
the  inns  being  really  too  bad.  We  were  shown 
at  Drag  a  large  Roman  statue  of  Jupiter,  without 
the  head,  which  had  been  discovered  some  miles 
off  in  the  bed  of  a  brook.  It  was  of  a  rather  coarse 

ZSIBO.  213 

white  marble,  probably  obtained  in  the  country,  and 
of  indifferent  workmanship. 

One  object  of  the  route  we  had  chosen  in  this 
excursion,  was  to  enable  us  to  visit  Zsibo,  the  seat 
of  Baron  Wesselenyi  Mi  k  16s  ;  and  we  arrived  there 
on  the  second  evening. 

We  did  not  expect  to  see  the  Baron  himself  at 
Zsibo,  for  we  knew  that  he  was  an  unwilling  ab- 
sentee. Immediately  after  the  stormy  conclusion 
of  the  Diet,  which  we  have  related  in  the  last  chap- 
ter, Baron  Wesselenyi  had  hastened  into  Hungary, 
where,  as  we  have  already  seen,  he  was  actively  em- 
ployed in  serving  his  country,  while,  in  the  mean- 
time his  enemies  commenced  an  action  against  him 
in  Transylvania,  for  printing  the  Journal,  and  other 
less-important  charges.  Attacked  by  a  severe 
illness,  at  Presburg,  Wesselenyi  was  unable  to 
answer  the  summons  of  the  Court  to  appear,  and,  in 
spite  of  the  certificates  of  his  physicians,  he  was 
condemned  for  contumacy  and  a  warrant  of  arrest 
issued  against  him  should  he  return  to  Transylva- 
nia. Though  he  still  remains  free,  the  chief  object 
was  gained,  that  of  driving  him  from  the  scene  of 
his  greatest  influence;  for,  from  that  day,  he  has 
never  been  able  to  return  to  the  country.  His 
establishment,  however,  was  still  kept  up  as  before, 
and  his  steward  was  there  to  show  us  over  it. 

Besides  other  branches  of  industry,  Baron  Wes- 
selenyi has  particularly  devoted  his  attention  to  the 
breed  of  horses.  If  horse-breeding  is  a  matter  of 


interest  to  the  Hungarian  gentry,  it  is  almost  a  pas- 
sion among  those  of  Transylvania.  I  think  Bethlen, 
in  his  "  Ansichten  von  Siebenbiirgen,"  published  at 
the  beginning  of  this  century,  gives  the  names  of 
no  less  than  sixty  celebrated  studs  in  this  small  ter- 
ritory. The  original,  or  rather  the  oldest  breed  of 
Transylvania,  is  probably  that  still  found  in  the 
mountains  of  the  Szekler  Land,  a  small  wiry  horse, 
capable  of  enduring  great  fatigue,  and  easily  fed,  but 
deficient  in  size,  power,  and  speed.  These  horses 
bear,  in  many  respects,  a  great  resemblance  to  our 
Welsh  ponies.  During  the  long  occupation  of  the 
country  by  the  Turks,  a  considerable  intermixture 
of  Arab  blood  took  place,  which,  though  it  may 
have  added  something  to  the  Transylvanian  horse's 
speed  and  beauty,  seems  to  have  detracted  from 
his  strength  and  hardihood. 

Among  a  host  of  other  evils,  which  the  connec- 
tion between  Spain  and  Austria  brought  on  Hun- 
gary and  Transylvania,  one  of  the  most  permanent, 
if  not  the  most  serious,  was  the  deterioration  of  the 
breed  of  horses.  The  Spanish  horse,  with  consider- 
able beauty, — at  least  to  the  unskilled  eye, — with 
extraordinary  docility  and  a  most  pompous  bearing, 
is,  nevertheless,  the  very  worst  horse  in  Europe. 
The  fashion  of  the  Court,  however,  of  course  decided 
the  fashion  of  the  country,  and  till  the  present 
century  the  Spanish  was  the  most  esteemed  blood. 
In  fact,  it  was  not  ill-adapted  to  the  wants  of  those 
times.  When  to  be  slow  was  to  be  dignified,  when 


all  grace  centred  in  a  minuet,  and  beauty  took 
refuge  in  powder  and  hoops,  it  was  but  right  that 
pomp  should  have  its  prancing  steeds,  which  could 
curvet  a  whole  hour  without  advancing  a  mile ;  but 
in  these  waltzing,  steaming,  matter-of-fact  days, 
nothing  less  than  our  full  bloods  can  keep  pace 
with  modern  restlessness,  and  they  have  accord- 
ingly been  introduced  into  Transylvania,  as  well  as 
into  most  other  parts  of  Europe. 

There  are  still,  however,  some  old-fashioned 
people  who  are  content  to  move  on  as  their  fore- 
fathers did, — the  Court  and  its  party  more  espe- 
cially the  bishops,  are  said  to  monopolize  this 
privilege  in  Hungary.  To  supply  this  taste  some 
of  the  old  studs  are  still  maintained.  The  most 

jrfect  is  that  of  Count  Banffy,  at  Bonczida,  where 
everything  corresponds  so  well  with  the  historical 
character  of  its  horses,  that  I  cannot  forbear  a  de- 
scription of  it.  The  whole  of  one  side  of  the  court- 
yard of  the  castle  is  occupied  by  a  superb  stable, 
ornamented  with  sculpture,  and  entered  by  folding 
doors.  The  stable  is  composed  of  one  vaulted  hall, 
with  stalls  on  either  side,  and  a  wide  walk  down  the 
centre,  the  floor  being  boarded  with  oak.  As  we 
entered,  the  Stall-meister,  in  long  jack-boots,  and 
armed  with  a  coach-whip,  received  us  in  due  form, 
and  ushered  us  into  the  presence  of  nearly  a  hun- 
dred horses,  all  with  their  heads  turned  towards  us, 
ornamented  with  ribbons,  and  attended  by  grooms 
in  full  livery,  with  bouquets  in  their  hats.  After 


walking  up  and  down  this  magnificent  avenue  list- 
ening to  pedigrees,  and  admiring  the  beauty  of  the 
gallant  steeds,  we  retired  again  to  the  court-yard 
to  see  them  brought  out.  Two  horses  at  a  time 
were  led  to  the  door  in  long  braided  reins,  and,  on 
a  given  signal  from  the  Stall-meister's  whip,  off 
they  started,  curvetting,  neighing,  and  galloping, 
till  they  had  made  the  tour  of  the  court,  when,  at 
another  signal,  they  came  to  a  dead  stand,  at  a 
certain  spot  where  they  remained  as  quiet  as  lambs, 
to  be  handled  and  examined  from  head  to  foot. 
It  was  impossible  to  see  these  horses,  as  they 
proudly  stretched  themselves  out  as  if  to  show 
their  points  to  the  greatest  advantage,  and  deny 
that  they  had  much  beauty  about  them ;  as  for 
their  capability  to  endure  fatigue,  I  cannot  speak, 
but  I  fancy  they  are  rarely  exposed  to  such  a  trial. 
What  is  not  least  important,  these  horses  are  said 
to  find  a  ready  sale.  A  hundred  pounds  for  a 
pair,  as  carriage  horses,  is  considered  a  high  price, 
even  for  the  best  of  them. 

Baron  Wesselenyi  was  the  first  who  undertook  to 
reform  these  matters,  and  though  he  began  it  with 
only  a  very  few  English  mares  and  one  horse, — 
Cato, — his  ordinary  stock  stud  now  amounts  to 
about  two  hundred.  We  went  first  of  all  into  the 
paddock,  where  we  found  a  promising  herd  of  young 
things  of  different  ages,  from  two  to  five,  in  ex- 
cellent condition,  and  carefully  tended  by  keepers, 
like  sheep  by  their  shepherds.  Those  which  most 


interested  us,  were  a  cross  between  the  English 
full  blood  and  the  small  Szekler  mare,  and  an 
excellent  hackney  it  seems  to  have  produced.  The 
mares  were  mostly  powerful  animals,  admirably 
chosen  for  breeding  speed  and  strength. 

On  returning  to  the  stables,  we  found  thirty  or 
forty  horses  up,  and  in  condition  for  sale  or  work. 
There  were  some  of  them  which  left  nothing  to  de- 
sire. I  remember  particularly  one,  a  four  years'  colt, 
already  nearly  sixteen  hands  high,  which  looked 
as  much  like  a  hunter  as  ever  I  saw  a  horse.  Baron 
Wessele*nyi  is  considered  to  sell  his  horses  dear. 
The  prices  vary  from  about  401.  for  the  half-bred 
Szeklers,  to  250/.  for  thorough -bred  entire  horses. 
The  four  years'  old  gelding,  just  alluded  to,  was 
estimated  at  80/.  As  soon  as  English  horses  be- 
come a  little  more  common  in  this  part  of  the 
world,  I  have  no  doubt  that  the  best  of  them  will 
be  re-exported  to  England,  the  price  of  breeding 
and  rearing  being  so  much  less  here,  and  the  de- 
mand for  first-rate  horses  so  far  beyond  the  supply 
with  us.  The  expense  of  keeping  a  horse  in  con- 
dition in  this  country,  for  twelve  months,  I  have 
heard  estimated  at  10/. 

There  are  now  probably  not  less  than  twenty 
studs  in  Transylvania,  with  a  greater  or  less  infusion 
of  English  blood.  It  is  amusing  enough  to  find, 
that  there  is  a  strong  connection  between  breeds 
of  horses  and  opinions  in  politics  here.  A  young 
Liberal,  the  first  thing  on  coming  to  his  fortune, 

218  BABOLNA. 

clears  his  father's  stables  of  the  old  stock,  and  re- 
cruits anew  from  Zsibo :  while  the  Absolutists  ad- 
here religiously  to  the  pompous  useless  steeds  of 
their  predecessors.  So  far  does  it  go,  that  a  man's 
politics  are  known  by  the  cut  of  his  horse's  tail. 
As  Baron  H—  -  overtook  a  party  of  Liberals,  re- 
turning one  dark  night  from  a  county-meeting,  he 
was  hailed  as  a  friend ;  for  though  they  said  they 
could  not  see  his  face,  they  knew  by  his  horse's 
dock  that  he  was  of  the  right  sort. 

Before  I  take  leave  of  the  horses,  I  must  say  a  few 
words  here  of  the  Government  studs  in  Hungary, 
of  which  Marshal  Marmont  has  given  so  particular 
an  account.  Babolna,  though  not  so  large  as  Mezo 
Hegyes,  was  particularly  interesting,  at  the  time  I 
visited  it,  from  a  new  importation  of  Arabs  which 
had  just  taken  place.  Babolna,  is  a  complete  mili- 
tary establishment,  under  the  direction  of  a  major 
of  dragoons,  aided  by  a  certain  number  of  officers, 
non-commissioned  officers,  and  privates.  They  farm 
a  large  estate  of  more  than  seven  thousand  acres, 
from  which  they  draw  their  supplies  of  corn,  straw, 
and  hay.  The  most  interesting  object  to  us  was  the 
Arab  stud,  which  the  major  had  himself  just  brought 
from  the  interior  of  Arabia.  There  were  fourteen 
mares,  and  nearly  as  many  horses.  It  is  impossible 
for  language  to  convey  an  idea  of  the  beauty  of 
some  of  these  creatures.  They  are  small,  rarely 
exceeding  fourteen  hands  ;  but  their  strength  and 
symmetry  are  perfect.  There  was  one  little  mare, 

ARAB  BREED.  219 

bright  bay,  which  caught  my  eye,  and  so  com- 
iletely  fascinated  me,  that  I  could  scarcely  look  at 
iy  of  the  others  after.  Such  depth  of  shoulder, 
ch  bony  fore-legs,  such  loins,  and  such  quarters 
d  hocks,  it  was  never  my  fortune  to  see  in  so 
small  a  compass,  or  in  such  perfect  proportion, 
before.  The  major  was  evidently  pleased  at  my 
choice,  for  the  bay  mare  was  his  favourite  also : 
the  more  so,  perhaps,  from  the  difficulty  he  had 
found  in  getting  possession  of  her.  He  had  heard 
of  her  reputation  long  before  he  reached  the  tribe 
to  which  she  belonged ;  for,  after  a  defeat,  she  had 
borne  her  master  across  the  sandy  wastes  without  a 
halt,  an  incredible  distance,  and  actually  arrived 
at  the  encampment  of  the  tribe,  six  hours  before 
any  of  the  others  who  had  commenced  their  flight 
at  the  same  time.  To  induce  an  Arab  to  part 
with  such  a  treasure  was  no  easy  matter;  and 
long  were  the  negotiations  and  high  the  bribes 
which  enabled  the  major  to  secure  this  gem  of  the 
desert  for  his  imperial  master. 

In  one  part  of  the  establishment,  we  were  shown 
the  summer  day-rooms  for  the  breeding  stud,  im- 
mense places,  where  some  hundreds  of  mares  and 
foals  are  turned  in  together,  the  floors  being  co- 
vered with  straw  above  the  horses'  knees  to  protect 
their  feet,  and  the  walls  lined  with  marble  troughs, 
in  which  they  receive  their  food.  Notwithstanding 
the  number  let  loose  together,  it  is  very  rarely 
any  accident  happens  ;  indeed,  from  the  constant 

220  BABOLNA. 

presence  of  man  with  them,  nothing  can  exceed 
the  quietness  of  these  creatures.  We  went  among 
whole  herds  of  them,  and  touched  them  without 
the  least  danger.  The  tenders  always  carry  bread 
with  them,  and  give  a  bit  to  the  horse  as  a  reward 
for  good  behaviour;  and  they  consequently  follow 
one  about,  poking  their  noses  into  one's  hands  and 
pockets  with  the  docility  of  dogs.  I  was  surprised 
to  hear,  that  in  these  large  buildings  every  horse 
knows  his  place,  though  it  is  quite  undivided,  and 
is  as  tenacious  of  it  as  an  old  bachelor  of  his  chim- 
ney corner. 

A  most  interesting  experiment  is  at  present  un- 
der trial  at  Babolna.  Major  Herbert  is  of  opinion, 
that  the  size  and  strength  of  a  horse  does  not  de- 
pend on  the  race,  but  on  the  nourishment  of  the 
individual  animal.  In  consequence  of  this  opinion, 
and  taking  the  Arab  as  the  most  perfect  model 
of  a  horse  for  form  and  symmetry,  he  is  desirous 
to  confine  his  stud  stock  to  the  Arab  blood,  and 
trusts  to  his  system  of  feeding  for  supplying  the 
deficiency  of  size.  When  I  saw  Babolna,  he  had 
specimens  of  four  and  five  years'  old  horses  raised 
on  this  system  ;  and  there  was  certainly  a  con- 
siderable change  in  their  size  compared  with  that 
of  their  sires.  When  this  experiment  commenced, 
however,  he  had  no  Arab  dams  in  the  stud,  and 
the  proof  was  therefore  incomplete,  for  the  mixed 
German  and  Spanish  race,  to  which  the  old  mares 
belonged,  though  faulty  enough  in  other  particulars, 

BABOLNA.  221 

is  not  very  small.  Some  of  the  double  crosses — 
where  the  sire,  for  two  generations,  was  a  small 
Arab  —  were  nearly  fifteen  hands,  and,  in  other 
respects,  good  in  form,  and  leaning  much  to  the 
Arab  in  appearance.  The  system  of  feeding  is 
nearly  the  same  as  that  pursued  with  our  racing 
stock, — to  let  them  nibble  oats  as  soon  as  they 
can  ;  and  for  the  first  three  or  four  years,  instead 
of  starving  them  on  a  bad  pasture,  to  give  them 
the  best  of  everything. 

That  the  experiment  will  succeed  to  a  certain 
extent,  is,  I  think,  evident,  both  from  what  I  saw, 
and  from  the  history  of  improvements  introduced 
into  the  breeds  of  other  animals,  which  have  been 
generally  produced  by  judicious  selection  and  high 
feeding ;  but  whether  the  expanded  Arab  will  retain 
the  same  symmetry  of  form,  the  same  relative  pro- 
portion of  bone  and  body,  and,  above  all,  the  same 
hardihood  and  endurance  which  distinguish  the  de- 
sert stock,  appears  very  doubtful.  The  question  is 
— can  the  qualities  of  the  English  hunter  be  fed 
into  the  Arab  form  ?  Nowhere  can  the  experiment 
be  so  perfectly  and  satisfactorily  settled  as  in  one 
of  these  institutions,  for  the  amount  of  food  is  fixed 
and  weighed,  the  number  on  which  the  experiment 
is  tried  renders  it  independent  of  exceptions,  and, 
above  all,  the  character  and  interests  of  the  gentle- 
men by  whom  it  is  conducted,  place  them  above  all 
suspicion  of  false  play.  For  the  present,  however, 
it  must  be  considered  under  trial.  No  English 



sportsman  should  pass  through  Hungary  without 
visiting  Babolna.  The  politeness  with  which  Major 
Herbert  showed  us  the  whole  establishment,  though 
we  presented  ourselves  entirely  as  strangers,  and 
without  introduction,  requires  our  special  thanks. 
The  destination  of  the  horses  raised  in  the  royal 
studs,  is,  to  improve  the  breed  in  the  different 
districts  of  the  Austrian  empire,  among  which  they 
are  distributed.  If  any  remain  above  the  number 
required  for  this  purpose  they  are  sold  to  officers 
for  chargers,  or  even  sent  to  the  remount  of  the 

But  to  return  to    Zsibo.       Zsibo  is  one  of  the 

very  few  houses  I  have  yet  seen  in  this  part  of  the 
world  which  is  really  well  situated.     It  occupies  a 

FRANZ   RAKOTZY    II.  223 

large  platform,  at  a  considerable  height  above  the 
village,  and  is  backed  by  still  higher  hills,  and  sur- 
rounded by  woods  which  shelter  it  from  the  north. 
Below  it  extends,  on  either  side,  the  valley  of  the 
Szamos,  and  opposite  a  conical  mountain  rears  its 
head,  the  scene  of  one  of  the  most  interesting 
events  in  Transylvanian  history.  It  was  on  this 
mountain  that  Franz  Rakotzy,  II.  the  last  native 
prince  of  Transylvania,  took  his  stand,  and  wit- 
nessed the  final  defeat  of  his  forces  by  the  troops 
of  Austria. 

Weak  and  vacillating  as  Rakotzy  was,  it  is  im- 
possible to  read  his  adventurous  history  without 
interest,  or  to  reflect  on  his  fall,  when  deserted  by 
his  former  friends  and  adherents,  without  pity. 
"Pro  patria  et  libertate"  was  a  noble  inscription 
to  place  upon  his  coinage — but  it  was  sad  to  think 
that  the  coin  itself  was  base  :  religious  freedom  was 
an  object  well  worth  contending  for — but  it  was 
difficult  for  one  brought  up  a  Jesuit  to  maintain  it 
consistently  ;  mildness  and  justice  were  good  quali- 
ties in  a  ruler, — but  weakness  and  indecision  were 
destructive  to  the  general.  After  years  of  civil  war, 
in  which  Rakotzy  sometimes  seemed  on  the  point 
of  ascending  the  throne  of  Hungary,  sometimes 
was  threathened  with  annihilation  by  the  quarrels 
amongst  his  own  friends,  he  at  last  ended  his 
troubled  life  a  fugitive  in  Turkey. 

As  we  were  passing  from  one   part  of  the  es- 
tablishment  of    Zsibo    to    another,    we    crossed   a 

224  ROBOT. 

beautiful  wood  on  the  banks  of  the  river,  which  is 
fenced  in  on  all  sides  to  protect  the  pheasants,  with 
which  it  literally  swarms,  from  the  wolves  and  foxes. 
The  proud  birds  were  crowing  from  their  perches  on 
every  side  of  us.  The  pheasant  is  yet  a  stranger  in 
Hungary,  and  can  only  be  kept  in  woods  appropri- 
ated to  the  purpose  of  rearing  them,  where  they 
are  carefully  fed,  and  in  winter  driven  under  cover, 
and  shut  up  till  the  next  spring. 

On  our  return  by  the  farm-yard,  we  observed  a 
very  merry  group  of  children  and  women  occupied 
— if  such  lazy  work  can  be  called  occupation — in 
pulling  off  the  outer  skins  of  the  maize.  A  man 
stood  over  them  to  direct  them  and  to  enforce  their 
attention — but  what  can  one  man  do  against  the 
mischief  and  fun  of  fifty  women  and  children  ?  I 
was  very  much  surprised  to  hear  that  these  merry 
workers  were  sent  as  substitutes  for  husbands  and 
fathers  in  the  performances  of  a  day's  Robot.  If  a 
landlord  gets  but  one  hundred  days'  work  such  as 
this,  for  a  year's  rent  for  a  farm  of  thirty  acres,  it 
is  not  very  highly  paid.  I  am  sure  ten  of  ours 
would  be  of  more  wrorth.  The  steward  seemed  to 
think  this,  however,  but  a  very  slight  misfortune 
compared  with  others  his  master  had  to  suffer : 
"  Probably,"  he  observed,  "  before  the  winter  is 
over,  these  people  will  have  eaten  all  this  corn 
which  they  are  now  so  lazily  dressing.  The  harvest 
has  been  a  scarce  one  here,  and  when  that  is  the 
case,  the  peasants  come  on  their  landlords  for  sup- 

RIDE   TO    HADAU.  225 

port,  as  if  they  had  a  right  to  it.  It  has  frequently 
happened  that  the  Baron  has  not  been  able  to  sell 
one  grain  of  corn  for  a  whole  season,  every  particle 
of  it  having  been  required  to  keep  his  own  tenantry 
alive,  and  sometimes  he  has  been  obliged  to  buy 
more  in  addition."  This  is  a  pretty  good  answer 
to  the  stupid  accusation  of  ill  treating  his  peasantry, 
which  had  been  raised  against  Baron  Wesselenyi ; 
an  answer  unneeded,  however,  for  their  prosperous 
and  happy  state,  superior  to  almost  any  in  the 
country,  and  their  devoted  affection  to  their  master, 
rendered  the  accusation  itself  perfectly  ridiculous. 
One  of  these  very  peasants  walked  all  the  way  from 
Zsibo  to  Vienna,  to  present  a  petition  to  the  Em- 
peror from  some  hundred  of  his  fellows,  that  their 
lord  and  benefactor  might  be  restored  to  them. 

We  had  spent  so  much  time,  that  the  day 
was  well  nigh  past  ere  we  had  finished  our  drive 
round  Zsibo,  and  we  had  still  a  considerable  jour- 
ney before  us.  The  steward,  however,  had  sent  the 
carriage  forward  early  in  the  morning,  and  now 
offered  us  some  of  the  half-bred  Szeklers,  that  we 
might  try  if  their  deeds  deserved  the  praises  we 
had  bestowed  on  their  appearance.  We  got  over 
to  Hadad,  our  next  station,  in  little  more  than  two 
hours,  through  a  woody  and  hilly  country,  often 
presenting  views  of  the  most  perfect  park-like 
scenery  it  is  possible  to  fancy.  What  is  the  exact 
distance  I  know  not,  but  we  certainly  put  our  little 
horses  on  their  mettle,  and  arrived  considerably 

VOL.  n.  Q 

226  HADAD. 

before  the  carriage  which  had  started  in  the  morn- 
ing. One  of  them,  a  small  mare,  with  two  crosses 
of  English  blood,  was  the  most  extraordinary  trotter 
of  her  height  I  ever  saw.  She  was  sold  soon  after 
for  about  60/.  There  never  was  a  country  more 
beautifully  laid  out  for  riding  over  than  Transyl- 
vania ;  without  high  mountains  or  hard  roads,  it 
is  just  sufficiently  hilly  to  vary  the  surface,  and 
twenty  or  thirty  miles  of  uninterrupted  springy- 
turf,  glorious  for  galloping,  is  no  great  rarity. 
The  advantage,  too,  is  as  great  as  the  pleasure. 
From  Hadad  to  Klausenburg,  which  takes  always 
three  days  in  winter  for  a  carriage,  has  been  ridden, 
by  means  of  relays  of  horses,  in  less  than  six  hours  ! 
We  arrived  at  Hadad  at  a  fortunate  moment; 
they  had  just  begun  the  vintage,  and  our  host,  the 
young  Baron  W- F ,  who  was  a  consider- 
able wine-grower,  invited  us  the  next  day  to  see 
his  vineyards.  The  vintage  is  always  a  merry  scene 
in  every  country,  apparently  rather  from  the  asso- 
ciations connected  with  its  produce  than  from  any- 
thing peculiar  in  the  labour  itself ;  unless,  indeed, 
we  allow  that  the  beauties  of  nature,  in  which  the 
season  of  the  vintage  is  so  rich,  has  its  effect  even 
on  the  coarse  nature  of  the  peasant.  I  believe  that 
such  is  the  case,  and  moreover,  that  many  an  uncul- 
tivated soul  which  lacks  words  in  which  to  clothe 
its  feelings,  is  far  more  capable  of  appreciating  the 
glories  of  God's  works  than  the  whole  race  of  maud- 
lin town-bred  poets  who  prate  so  loudly  of  them. 

THE   VINTAGE.  227 

After  about  an  hour's  gallop  across  some  rich 
green  meadows,  in  which  the  beautiful  Baroness 
W accompanied  us, — for  the  ladies  of  Tran- 
sylvania almost  rival  our  own  as  horse-women — we 
arrived  at  the  vineyard,  situated  on  the  slope  of  a 
small  hill.  There  were  about  one  hundred  peasants 
employed  in  picking  and  carrying  large  baskets  of 
the  bright  grapes  to  a  small  pressing-house  near  by. 
Beautiful  groups  they  formed  as  we  caught  sight 
of  them  every  now  and  then,  half  hid  among  the 
tall  vines :  there  were  young  and  old,  men  and 
women — the  village  seemed  to  have  sent  out  all 
its  forces  for  the  joyous  occasion,  and  in  dresses 
so  picturesque  too,  that  the  artist's  fancy  could 
have  desired  no  happier  union  of  colour,  form,  or 

Leaving  the  Baroness  in  conversation  with  some 
of  the  old  peasant  women,  the  Baron  beckoned  us 
away,  and  led  us  alone  to  see  the  pressing  process. 
I  could  not  understand  this  mystery,  but,  like  a 
wise  man,  held  my  tongue,  and  submitted, — and  it 
was  well  I  did.  In  a  number  of  large  tubs  we  found 
a  set  of  almost  naked  men  dancing  barefooted,  with 
all  their  force,  to  the  music  of  the  bagpipes,  on  the 
heaps  of  fruit  which  the  carriers  were  throwing  into 
them.  I  did  not  wonder  we  were  led  to  this  place 
alone,  for  except  in  some  of  the  Silenic  processions 
of  Poussin,  I  never  saw  so  extraordinary  a  scene. 
And  it  is  in  this  manner  the  whole  wine  of  this 
country  is  prepared  !  The  Transylvanians,  who  are 

Q    2 

228  THE   VINTAGE. 

singularly  delicate  as  to  the  cleanliness  of  their  food, 
declare  that  every  possible  impurity  is  driven  off  in 
the  fermentation  the  wine  goes  through  after,  and 
I  was  not  sufficiently  cruel  to  undeceive  them. 
The  great  object  of  all  this  dancing  seems  to  be  to 
break  the  grapes,  for  they  are  afterwards  subjected 
to  the  press.  I  need  not  say  that  a  thousand  simple 
mechanical  contrivances  might  be  substituted  for 
this  nasty  process.  It  is  reckoned  that  one  man 
can  dance  about  two  hours,  when  his  feet  become 
so  cold  that  he  is  forced  to  yield  his  place  to  an- 
other. In  cold  weather,  hot  wine  is  often  poured 
over  their  legs  to  enable  them  to  hold  out  longer, 
and  spirits  are  allowed  almost  ad  libitum.  But  the 
greatest  support  of  the  wine-presser  is  the  bagpipe 
or  fiddle,  without  which  he  could  not  continue  his 
dancing  half  an  hour.  During  the  whole  time,  he 
dances  the  regular  national  step,  and  accompanies 
it  with  a  song,  which  he  improvises  as  he  goes  on. 
The  usual  termination  of  the  vintage  is  a  supper  and 
a  dance  for  the  whole  village. 

Transylvania  is  a  country  which  will  probably 
one  day  assume  a  high  rank  as  a  wine-growing 
district.  It  is  almost  entirely  laid  out  in  small 
hills,  it  is  well  watered,  a  great  many  of  its  strata 
are  of  volcanic  origin,  and  the  land  itself  is  rather 
poor ;  all  circumstances  which,  united  to  its  geogra- 
phical position,  fit  it  for  the  purposes  of  the  wine- 
grower. Although,  even  at  the  present  time,  no 
less  than  one-ninth  of  the  whole  population  is 


said  to  live  by  the  cultivation  of  the  vine,  nothing 
can  be  more  careless  than  the  actual  method  of 
wine-making.  All  kinds  of  grapes  are  mixed  in- 
discriminately; no  care  is  taken  to  separate  the 
over-ripe  and  those  yet  green  from  the  others ;  and 
the  process  of  pressing  is,  as  I  have  described  it, 
dirty  and  careless.  The  cultivation  of  the  vine  is 
equally  neglected  or  ill-understood.  Notwithstand- 
ing these  disadvantages,  however,  there  are  already 
some  score  different  kinds  of  wine  which  enjoy  a 
well-deserved  reputation.  Their  reputation,  how- 
ever, is  only  provincial,  for  so  little  is  this  country 
known,  that  its  wines  are  scarcely  heard  of,  even 
among  the  Hungarians.  They  are  mostly  white 
wines,  and  are  remarkable  for  their  bouquet  and 
flavour,  as  well  as  for  considerable  body.  They  are 
perhaps,  less  strong  than  the  generality  of  the  Hun- 
garian, but  they  are  also  less  acid  and  thin  than 
some  of  the  finer  white  wines  of  that  country.  It  is 
very  characteristic  of  the  state  of  commerce  here,  that 
there  is  not  a  single  wine  merchant  in  the  country, 
and  when  at  Klausenburg,  we  found  it  difficult  to 
get  even  a  tolerable  wine  to  drink.  Every  gentle- 
man, nay,  every  respectable  tradesman  grows  his 
own  wine,  and  he  would  rather  send  a  hundred 
miles  off  for  it,  than  give  hard  cash  to  buy  it  of 
another  on  the  spot. 

Some  of  the  most  celebrated  wines  of  Transyl- 
vania, and  those  which  it  would  be  most  worth  the 
foreigner's  while  to  inquire  after,  are  those  of  the 


Szilagysag,  the  Kokel,  and  Maros.  The  wines  of 
the  Szilagysag  are  celebrated  for  their  strength  and 
durability.  They  are  chiefly  white  wines  of  a  plea- 
sant flavour,  full-bodied,  and  when  new,  are  very 
heady.  The  highest  price,  in  an  ordinary  year,  of 
the  better  sorts  is  about  two  shillings  per  eimer 
(sixteen  bottles).  The  best  are  those  of  Tasnad  and 
Szordemeter.  In  the  valley  of  the  Maros,  the 
wines  of  Rozsamal,  Malom-Falva,  Czelna,  Gures- 
zada,  Macsa,  Oklos,  and  Babolna,  are  most  sought 
after;  and  again,  in  the  valley  of  the  Kokel,  or 
Kukiillo,  those  of  Dombo  and  Bocacs.  The  Kokel 
wines  are  less  strong  than  those  of  the  Szilagysag 
and  Maros,  but  perhaps  more  wholesome,  and 
equally  well-flavoured. 

Baron  W ,  when  in  France,  had  engaged  a 

French  vigneron  to  come  and  stay  with  him  some 
years,  in  order  to  try  if  he  could  make  champagne 
from  the  grapes  of  Transylvania.  We  had  frequent 
opportunities  of  tasting  the  wine  he  produced,  and 
though  it  was  much  too  strong  and  heavy  for  cham- 
pagne, it  was  sparkling  and  pleasant,  far  better  than 
the  stuff  we  had  often  drunk  under  that  name  in 
other  countries. 

On  our  return,  we  visited  a  small  farm  of  about 
three  hundred  acres,  which  our  host  had  laid  out  a 
year  or  two  before,  on  the  system  of  rotation  crops, 
and  which  was  under  the  management  of  a  clever 
Scotch  bailiff.  We  found  the  Scotchman,  a  giant 
specimen  of  his  countrymen,  hard  at  plough,  grum- 


bling  of  course,  as  we  all  do,  when  abroad,  at  every- 
thing foreign,  from  the  very  soil  to  the  people  it 
nourishes.  He  was  very  proud,  however,  to  show 
us  his  barns,  his  stacks,  his  fat  oxen,  and  his  huge 
potatoes,  one  of  which  filled  a  large  dish  of  itself; 
but  he  inveighed  most  bitterly  against  the  laziness 
of  the  poor  peasants.  He  already  spoke  a  jumble 
of  various  languages,  by  means  of  which,  and  his 
heavy  fists,  he  managed  to  make  himself  under- 
stood by  Magyars,  Wallacks,  and  Germans,  with 
all  of  whom  he  had  to  do.  A  short  time  previously 
he  had  made  rather  too  free  a  use  of  this  latter 
organ ;  for,  on  some  of  the  peasants  attacking  one 
of  the  Baron's  officers,  to  get  at  the  wine  he  was 
distributing  to  them,  the  Scotchman  rushed  in  and 
made  such  good  use  of  his  strength,  that  some  of 
them  were  laid  up  for  months  after.  I  could  easily 
believe  when  I  saw  him,  that  a  blow  from  his  arm 
was  quite  sufficient  to  annihilate  a  poor  half-starved 
Wallack  peasant. 

Though  the  quantity  of  labour  required  by  the 
Scotchman,  and  the  expensive  processes  by  which 
he  cultivated,  rendered  it  doubtful  how  far  his 
farming  would  be  profitable  in  the  end,  the  Baron 
confessed  that  the  amount  of  produce  was  enor- 
mous, and  that  he  received  as  much  hay  and  corn 
from  these  three  hundred  acres,  as  he  had  formerly 
received  from  the  fourteen  thousand,  of  which  his 
estate  consists.  Many  of  the  oak  woods  through 
which  we  passed,  were,  he  said,  almost  useless. 

232  FARMING. 

They  furnished  firewood,  gall-nuts,  acorns  for  the 
pigs,  and  as  many  casks  as  he  required  for  his  wine, 
but  of  net  revenue  he  derived  scarcely  anything 
from  them. 

About  two  thousand  Merino  sheep,  which  he 
had  just  purchased,  as  a  commencement  of  a  flock, 
promised  something  better.  Beyond  the  first  cost, 
the  expense  of  shepherds,  and  the  gathering  of  win- 
ter keep,  he  might  reckon  what  they  brought  in  as 
clear  profit,  for  the  land  they  grazed  on  was  of  no 
other  value  to  him.  Should  a  corn  trade  ever  open 
with  England  the  case  will  alter,  but  at  present  the 
low  price  of  wheat,  and  frequently  the  impossibility 
of  disposing  of  it,  renders  its  cultivation  a  hazard 
and  often  a  loss.  With  but  little  increase  of  ex- 
pense, the  Baron  reckoned  he  could  graze  ten  thou- 
sand sheep,  to  which  number  he  hoped  shortly  to 
increase  his  flock. 

As  we  approached  the  village,  the  Baron  led  the 
way  over  some  pretty  good  fences,  to  show  us  a  field 
of  clover,  of  which  the  second  crop  was  just  cut. 
This  had  been  one  of  his  earliest  agricultural  im- 
provements, for  in  spite  of  the  quantity  of  land  he 
possesses,  he  was  formerly  often  in  absolute  want  of 
hay  and  straw  for  his  own  horses  in  winter.  On 
many  Transylvanian  gentlemen's  farms,  it  is  no  un- 
common thing  to  hear  of  horses  and  cattle  dying  of 
starvation,  if  the  winter  is  severe  or  a  few  weeks 
longer  than  usual.  This  crop  of  clover  had  been 
looked  upon,  therefore,  as  a  treasure,  and  conceive 


his  disappointment  to  hear  one  morning,  just  as 
the  first  cutting  was  ready  for  the  scythe,  that  the 
peasants  had  broken  down  the  fences,  turned  all 
the  cattle  of  the  village  into  the  field,  and  com- 
pletely destroyed  the  whole  crop.  The  starved 
cows  devoured  this  novel  luxury  so  greedily  that 
they  almost  all  died  in  consequence.  Vexed  as 
our  friend  was  at  this  piece  of  malice,  he  was  even 
more  astonished  the  next  day  to  hear  that  no  less 
than  thirty  of  these  same  peasants  had  commenced 
suits  against  him  for  having  planted  poisonous  herbs 
to  kill  their  cattle  !  Ignorance  is  a  sad  enemy  to 

Baron  W assured  us  this  was  only  one  of 

a  series  of  malicious  injuries  which  he  had  brought 
on  himself  by  his  attempts  to  improve  the  state 
of  his  own  property,  and  the  condition  of  his 
peasantry.  "  I  have  diminished  the  time  of  their 
labour,"  he  observed ;  "  I  have  lessened  the 
amount  of  their  payments ;  I  have  forbidden  my 
stewards  and  others  to  have  any  peasant  punished 
without  a  trial  before  the  magistrates  of  the  dis- 
trict, and  instead  of  gratitude,  I  meet  with  nothing 
but  injury  from  them ;  they  look  at  all  these  at- 
tempts as  so  many  signs  of  folly  and  weakness  on 
my  part." 

On  further  inquiry  we  found  the  peasants  of 
Transylvania  in  a  far  worse  condition,  and  much 
more  ignorant  than  those  of  Hungary.  When  Maria 
Theresa  forced  the  Urbarium  on  the  nobles  of 


Hungary,  she  published  certain  Regulations  Punkte, 
founded  on  nearly  the  same  principles,  for  the  go- 
vernment of  the  peasants  of  Transylvania.  Whether 
it  was  that  these  Punkte  were  not  adapted  to  the 
state  of  the  country,  or  whether  its  greater  distance 
from  the  central  power  allowed  the  nobles  to  evade 
their  adoption,  it  is  certain  they  never  obtained 
the  same  force  as  the  Urbarium,  nor  have  any  suc- 
ceeding attempts  to  improve  their  condition  met 
with  a  better  result.  The  Transylvanians  say  they 
are  ready  and  anxious  to  do  everything  that  is  right 
and  just,  provided  only  it  is  done  in  a  constitutional 
form,  through  the  intervention  of  the  Diet.*  In  the 
mean  time  the  state  of  the  peasantry  is  a  crying 
evil,  and  one  which,  if  not  speedily  remedied  by 
the  nobles,  will  be  remedied  without  their  consent, 
either  by  the  Government  or  by  the  people  them- 
selves ;  and  I  fear  the  sympathy  of  Europe  will 
scarcely  be  in  favour  of  those  who  oppose  such  a 
measure  of  justice. 

The  frightful  scenes  which  took  place  under  the 
leadership  of  Hora  and  Kloska,  two  Wallacks,  who 
in  1784,  raised  the  peasants  of  Transylvania  in  re- 
volt, are  still  fresh  in  the  memory  of  the  Transyl- 
vanians, and  may  serve  as  a  warning  of  what  an 
injured  people  are  capable,  when  expectations  of  re- 
dress are  held  out  to  them,  and  then  disappointed. 

*  The  Diet  of  1837  nominated  a  commission  to  prepare  an 
Urbarium  for  Transylvania,  but  I  cannot  yet  (1839)  hear  that 
anything  has  been  done. 


It  is  said  that  Joseph  actually  promoted  the  insur- 
rection of  Hora  and  Kloska,  and  it  is  certain  that 
military  aid  was  not  sent  to  repress  it  so  quickly  as 
it  might  have  been  ;  but  I  do  not  believe  the  accu- 
sation of  intentional  excitement.  Independently  of 
the  improbability  that  one,  whose  chief  fault  was 
too  much  openness  and  honesty,  should  resort  to 
such  base  means,  I  think  the  mere  belief  that  the 
Government  was  favourable  to  their  claims,  and  the 
nobles  opposed  to  them,  when  aided  by  the  false 
^presentations  of  designing  leaders,  would  be  quite 
sufficient  to  cause  such  events  among  such  a  popu- 
lation at  any  time.  During  the  late  popular  move- 
ment it  has  been  the  policy  of  the  opposition  to 
attach  the  peasantry  to  their  party  by  any  means  in 
their  power,  and  I  feel  certain  that  as  hopes  of 
amendment  have  been  raised,*  it  is  now  the  interest 
and  the  duty  of  the  opposition  to  see  that  these 
hopes  are  not  deceived,  be  the  sacrifice  on  their 
part  what  it  may. 

Among  the  greatest  evils  of  which  the  Transyl- 

*  I  have  since  heard  that  on  the  publication  of  the  Hungarian 
Urbarium,  the  peasants,  in  every  village  of  Tranjylvania,  sent  de- 
puties to  purchase  copies  of  it  for  themselves,  and  paid  the  priests 
to  translate  and  explain  it,  and  that  there  is  not  a  village  in  Tran- 
sylvania now  without  a  copy  of  this  act.  I  have  been  surprised  to 
hear  a  member  of  the  Liberal  party  talk  of  this  as  a  conspiracy, 
and  declare  that  the  peasants  ought  to  be  punished  for  it  !  Such, 
I  am  sure,  are  not  the  opinions  of  the  leaders  of  that  party  ;  if 
they  were,  I  should  be  one  of  the  first  to  say  it  was  high  time  that 
the  Government  interfered  to  check  a  liberty  which  manifested 
itself  only  in  enslaving  others. 


vanian  peasant  has  to  complain,   is  the  absence  of 
any  strict  and  well-defined   code   of  laws   to  which 
he  can  refer,  and,  in  consequence  of  that  deficiency, 
his  almost  entire  subjection  to  the  arbitrary  will  of 
his  master,  against  which  he  has  nothing  but  cus- 
tom to  urge  in  defence.     The  peasant-land  too,  has 
never  been   classed   here   as   in   Hungary,   accord- 
ing to  its  powers  of  production,  nor  has  the   size 
of  the  peasant's   portion,  or  fief,   been   ever  accu- 
rately  determined.     The  amount  of  labour   there- 
fore, cannot  be   fairly  and   legally  proportioned  to 
the   quantity  and  value  of  the   land.     Nor  is  the 
amount  of  labour  itself  better  regulated.     In  some 
parts  of  the  country  it  is  common   to  require  two 
days  a  week ;  in  others,  and  more  generally,   three 
are  demanded;  and  in  some  the  landlord  takes  as 
much   as  he  can  possibly  extract   out  of  the  half- 
starved  creatures  wrho  live  under  him.     Here,  too, 
the  flogging-block  is  in  full  vigour;  every  landlord 
can    order    any   of   his    tenants    or    servants,    who 
may  displease  him,  twenty-five  lashes  on  the  spot, 
and  it  is  generally  the  first  resource  which  occurs 
to    him   in   any    disputes    about    labour   or    dues. 
But   it   is   in    the    hands    of   the    underlings,    the 
stewards,   bailiffs,    inspectors,  —  a   flock    of  hawks 
which    infest   every    Hungarian    estate, — that   this 
power  becomes  a  real  scourge  to  the  poor  peasant. 
It  is  the  custom  to  pay  these  officers  an  exceed- 
ingly  small    sum    in    ready    money,    as    a    salary, 
so   small  indeed   that   it  would    be  impossible   for 


them  to  live  decently  upon  it ;  it  is  conse- 
quently obliged  to  be  made  up  by  the  addition  of 
some  land,  or  by  the  permission  to  feed  a  certain 
number  of  cattle,  or  horses,  or  to  sell  a  certain 
quantity  of  corn  on  their  own  account.  Now  to 
cultivate  this  land,  or  to  carry  this  corn  to  market, 
labour  is  required,  and  this  they  generally  manage 
to  get  out  of  the  peasantry  without  payment,  either 
by  threats  of  punishment  for  slight  or  imaginary 
offences,  or  by  applying  for  themselves  what  ought 
to  be  given  to  their  masters.  Generally  both  these 
means  are  used, —  the  master  is  robbed,  and  the 
peasant  ill-treated. 

From  the  manner  in  which  estates  are  commonly 
divided  in  Transylvania,  it  is  nearly  impossible  for 
the  landlords  to  escape  from  the  clutches  of  these 
bailiffs.  Every  son  has  an  equal  share  in  the  male 
estates,  and  every  child  in  the  female  estates  of  a 
family.  This  equality  of  right  in  each  individual 
estate,  is  often  the  cause  of  great  inconvenience, 
for  the  same  person  might  have  a  few  acres  only  in 
twenty  different  villages,  when  the  expense  and 
difficulty  of  management  would  exceed  the  revenue. 
Of  course,  the  most  natural  remedy  is  an  equitable 
division  among  the  members  of  the  family  them- 
selves ;  and,  where  this  can  be  effected,  it  is  well ; 
but,  where  it  cannot,  their  only  remedy  is  culti- 
vating in  common,  and  dividing  the  profits.  In 
such  cases  almost  the  entire  management  rests  in 
the  hands  of  the  stewards,  and  this  complication, 


together  with  the  endless  law-suits  to  which  it 
gives  rise,  is  one  of  the  greatest  evils  to  which 
both  the  landlord  and  peasant  of  Transylvania  are 

The  ignorance  of  the  Transylvanian  peasant  is 
of  the  deepest  dye.  He  is  generally  superstitious 
and  deceitful,  the  two  greatest  signs  of  ignorance. 
These  qualities  are  most  conspicuous  in  the  Wai- 
lack  peasantry,  but  the  Magyars  are  by  no  means 
free  from  them.  Schools  are  extremely  rare.  It  is 
only  here  and  there  that  they  have  been  established 
by  the  good  sense  and  liberality  of  the  Seigneur, 
and  even  then  they  have  often  failed  for  want  of 
a  little  caution  and  perseverance  in  those  who  have 
conducted  them.  The  peasants  belonging  to  the 
Greek  church  are  undoubtedly  the  most  ignorant, 
those  of  the  Unitarian  and  Lutheran  churches,  the 
best  educated. 

We  entered  some  of  the  Magyars1  cottages  at 
Hadad,  and  though  they  were  superior  to  the  Wai- 
lack  huts  of  Varhely,  they  were  still  very  inferior 
to  those  we  had  visited  in  Hungary.  It  is  rare 
that  the  Transylvanian  peasant's  cottage  has  more 
than  two  rooms,  sometimes  only  one ;  his  furniture 
is  scanty  and  rude,  his  crockery  coarse,  and  those 
little  luxuries,  which  in  the  Hungarian  denoted  a 
something  beyond  the  needful,  are  rarely  seen  in 
Transylvania.  There  is  an  air  of  negligence  too 
about  his  house ;  his  fence  is  broken,  his  stable  out 
of  repair,  and  everywhere  there  is  a  want  of  that 


thrifty  look  which  declares  that  a  man  thinks  he 
has  something  worth  taking  care  of,  and  hopes  to 
make  it  better. 

The  peasants  of  the  Szilagysag  have  not  the  best 
of  characters.  Though  allowed  to  be  fine,  brave, 
independent  fellows,  they  are  reckoned  among  the 
most  desperate  rogues  in  the  country.  No  Szilagy- 
sag man  thinks  it  a  disgrace  to  have  been  flogged, 
but,  to  have  shrunk  under  a  flogging. 

The  life  of  a  country  gentleman  in  Transylvania, 
though  somewhat  isolated  by  his  distance  from  any 
large  capital,  and  by  the  badness  of  the  roads,  is  by 
no  means  without  its  pleasures.  For  the  sportsman, 
a  large  stud  of  horses — few  men  have  less  than 
from  ten  to  twenty, — every  variety  of  game  from 
the  boar  and  wolf,  to  the  snipe  and  partridge,  and 
a  boundless  range  for  hunting  over,  are  valuable 
aids  for  passing  time.  If  a  man  likes  public  busi- 
ness, the  county  will  readily  choose  him  Vice  Ispan 
or  magistrate,  and  the  quarterly  county-meetings 
are  a  constant  source  of  interest,  and  afford  ample 
opportunity  of  exercising  influence.  If  agriculture 
has  any  charms,  some  thousands  of  untilled  acres 
offer  abundant  scope  for  farming,  and  promise  a 
rich  return  for  capital.  If  philanthropy  has  claims 
on  his  heart,  the  peasantry,  who  look  up  to  him 
for  almost  everything,  afford  a  fine  scope  for  its 
effusions,  and  a  certain  reward  if  judiciously  and 
continuously  exercised. 

The  houses  of  the  richer  nobles  are  large  and 

240  THE   GOOD   OLD   TIMES. 

roomy,  and  their  establishments  are  conducted  on  a 
scale  of  some  splendour.  It  is  true,  that  they  are 
deficient  in  many  things  which  we  should  consider 
absolute  necessaries,  but  on  the  other  hand  they 
exhibit  many  luxuries  which  we  should  consider  ex- 
travagant with  twice  their  .incomes.  It  is  no  un- 
common thing,  for  instance,  in  a  one-storied  house 
with  a  thatched-roof  and  an  uncarpeted  floor,  to  be 
shown  into  a  bed-room  where  all  the  washing  appa- 
ratus and  toilet  is  of  solid  silver.  It  is  an  every-day 
occurrence  in  a  house,  where  tea  and  sugar  are  con- 
sidered expensive  luxuries,  to  sit  down  to  a  dinner  of 
six  or  eight  courses.  Bare  white- washed  walls  and 
rich  Vienna  furniture ;  a  lady  decked  in  jewels  which 
might  dazzle  a  Court,  and  a  handmaid  without  shoes 
and  stockings ;  a  carriage  and  four  splendid  horses, 
with  a  coachman  whose  skin  peeps  out  between  his 
waitcoat  and  inexpressibles,  are  some  of  the  ano- 
malies which,  thanks  to  restrictions  on  commerce, 
absence  of  communication,  and  a  highly  artificial 
civilization  in  one  part  of  the  community,  and  great 
barbarism  in  the  other,  are  still  to  be  found  in 
Transylvania.  It  is  not,  however,  in  such  houses 
as  the  one  in  which  we  were  visiting,  that  such 
anomalies  are  to  be  sought,  but  rather  in  those 
who  boast  themselves  followers  of  the  "  good  old 
customs  of  the  good  old  times."  But  laugh  as 
we  young  ones  may  at  those  "  old  times,"  it  is  not 
altogether  without  reason  that  the  epithet  of 
"good,"  so  pertinaciously  clings  to  them.  There 


is  something  so  sincere  and  so  simple  in  the  manners 
of  those  times,  —  when  an  Englishman  wishes  to 
express  his  idea  of  them  he  calls  them  homely, 
and  in  that  word  he  understands  all  that  his 
heart  feels  to  be  dearest  and  best, — that  see  them 
where  we  may,  they  -have  always  something  to 
attach  and  interest  us. 

In  some  of  the  old-fashioned  houses  in  Transyl- 
vania, there  is  still  almost  a  patriarchal  simplicity 
in  the  habits  of  the  family.  An  early  hour  sees  all 
the  children,  from  the  eldest  to  the  youngest, — ay, 
the  married  ones  too  —  proceed  in  due  order  of 
progeniture  to  the  presence  of  their  parents,  whose 
hands  they  respectfully  kiss  and  from  whom  they 
receive  the  morning  blessing.  After  a  simple 
breakfast  of  one  small  cup  of  coffee  and  cream, 
and  a  slice  of  dry  bread,  the  family  disperses  for 
the  business  of  the  day.  The  children  are  left  to 
their  masters  and  governesses  —  and,  oh,  what  a 
nuisance  those  same  masters  and  governesses  are; 
I  have  heard  of  no  less  than  six  living  in  one 
family  in  the  country  at  the  same  time.  The 
master  of  the  house  takes  his  meerschaum,  ready 
filled  and  lighted  from  the  hands  of  his  servant, 
and  sallies  out,  accompanied  by  his  steward,  bailiffs, 
and  overseer,  to  give  directions  for  the  cultivation 
of  his  estate,  or  to  settle  the  lawsuits  of  his  pea- 
santry; or,  perhaps,  the  county-meeting  calls  him 
into  town,  and  then  he  wraps  himself  up  in  his 
bunda,  gets  into  his  carriage,  and  four  fat  horses 

VOL.  II.  R 


convey  him  to  his  destination.  Or  it  may  be,  the 
doctor  has  come  over  to  see  after  the  health  of  the 
family,  and  the  seigneur  takes  that  opportunity  to 
lead  him  round  the  village,  that  he  may  bleed  and 
physic  all  those  who  have  wanted  it  for  the  last 
three  months,  or  who  are  likely  to  want  it  for  the 
next  three  months  to  come.*  Or,  perhaps,  some 
quarrels  amongst  the  peasantry,  or  some  disobedi- 
ence to  his  orders,  have  provoked  the  terrible  anger 
of  the  master,  and  he  at  once  assumes  the  authority 
of  the  judge,  and  condemns  and  punishes,  where 
he  himself  is  a  party  in  the  cause.  Or,  perhaps, 
the  Jew  merchant  humbly  waits  an  audience,  and 
with  shining  gold  tempts  him  to  dispose  of  the 
coming  vintage.  And  then  the  stables  have  to  be 
visited,  and  the  cooper  to  be  hurried  for  the  vin- 
tage, and  the  gipsies  in  the  brickyard  to  be  cor- 

But,  if  the  occupations  of  the  lord  are  many, 
who  shall  tell  the  busy  cares  and  troubles  of  the 
lady  of  the  "good  old  times?"  With  not  less  than 
one  hundred  mouths  to  provide  food  for  daily,  with 
no  resources  of  a  market- town  near  at  hand,  with 
stores,  consequently,  of  provisions  for  six  months 
to  be  taken  care  of,  and  these  provisions  too  of  a 

*  A  worthy  old  Baron,  now  dead,  used  to  have  the  doctor  over 
every  spring  and  autumn  with  a  waggon-load  of  herbs.  These 
herbs,  duly  decocted  and  distilled,  were  administered  to  the  whole 
family  and  village,  which  were  then  considered  sound  for  six 
months  to  come. 


variety*  and  quantity  such  as  English  housekeepers 
can  form  no  idea  of,  and  which  I  unfortunately, 
am  very  inadequate  to  describe ;  with  a  crowd  of 
servants,  including  artificers!  of  various  kinds,  to 
superintend  and  direct,  the  multiplicity  of  her 
duties  may  be  indistinctly  guessed.  If  somewhat 
less  elegant,  and  less  accomplished  than  the  more 
fashionable  ladies  of  the  capital,  these  worthy  house- 
wives are  never  deficient  in  that  respectable  dignity 
which  a  strict  performance  of  the  duties  of  their 
station  confers. 

At  one,  the  old-fashioned  family,  even  of  the 
present  day,  assemble  in  the  drawing-room,  and 
proceed  to  dinner.  It  is  rarely  that  they  sit  down 
without  some  guest ;  for,  whoever  of  their  acquaint- 
ance happens  to  be  travelling  near,  always  manages 
to  drop  in  about  dinner-time,  as  he  knows  he  will 
be  well-received;  indeed,  his  passing  by  without 
stopping,  would  be  considered  an  insult.  And  a 
goodly  sight  is  that  hospitable  board,  for  it  is 

*  Among  other  objects  strange  to  us,  might  be  mentioned  the 
collection  of  snails.  The  large  wood-snail  is  a  favourite  dish  here, 
and  a  very  good  one  it  is.  The  snails  are  drawn  out  of  the  shell, 
cut  small  with  a  kind  of  savoury  stuffing,  and  served  up  re- 
placed in  the  shell.  As  for  their  being  disgusting,  it  is  all  fancy. 
I  have  seen  delicate  ladies  relish  snails  exceedingly,  who  would 
have  shuddered  at  the  sight  of  a  raw  oyster.  In  some  parts  of 
Transylvania,  instead  of  eggs  and  fowls,  the  peasants  pay  their 
tribute  in  snails  and  game.  One  lady's  ordinary  winter  supply 
was  upwards  of  five  thousand  snails. 

t  In  some  houses,  the  weaver  and  tailor  are  hired  servants ; 
and  in  most,  the  cooper,  baker,  and  smith. 

R  2 


crowded  by  those  who  might  otherwise  be  ill  pro- 
vided for.  Besides  the  family  and  guests,  all  the 
governesses  and  masters  dine  at  table;  and  then 
there  are  three  or  four  stewards  and  secretaries, 
and  the  clergyman  of  the  village,  or  perhaps  both 
clergyman  and  priest,  and  the  poor  schoolmaster, 
all  of  whom  never  dine  at  home  when  the  seigneur 
is  in  the  country. 

The  dinner,  instead  of  being  placed  on  the 
table,  is  carried  round,  that  every  one  may  help 
himself,  each  dish  being  first  presented  to  the  lady 
of  the  house  who  never  fails  to  take  a  small 
portion  by  way  of  recommending  it  to  her  guests. 
As  for  telling  the  reader  of  what  the  dinner  is 
composed,  it  is  impossible  ;  but  I  can  assure  him, 
that  both  in  quality  and  quantity,  he  must  be  very 
difficult  to  please  who  is  not  satisfied.  The  elite 
of  the  company  retire  to  the  drawing-room,  after 
dinner,  to  partake  of  coffee  and  liqueur,  while 
the  inferior  guests,  who  have  not  the  entree,  make 
their  bows  and  depart.  When  speaking  of  the 
occupations  of  the  ladies  of  Transylvania,  it  would 
be  very  ungrateful  were  I  to  omit  their  talent  in 
making  liqueurs ;  some  of  the  home-made  liqueurs 
of  Transylvania  equal  the  best  marasquinos 
and  curaqoas  in  flavour.  A  drive  out  in  the 
cool  of  the  evening  in  summer,  and  embroidery, 
cards,  books,  and  conversation,  with  the  inter- 
lude of  a  goute  composed  of  fruits,  preserves,  sa- 
voury cold  meats,  and,  now-a-days,  tea,  and  at 


nine,  a  supper  nearly  as  large  as  the  -  dinner,  com- 
plete the  occupations  of  a  day  in  the  country  in 

But  it  is  high  time  I  returned  to  our  travels. 

Baron  W kindly  offered  to  accompany  us  to 

Nagy  Banya,  just  beyond  the  north  frontier  of 
Transylvania,  to  visit  the  gold  mines  there.  It  is 
a  good  day's  journey,  even  in  summer,  and  the  only 
chance  of  accomplishing  it  at  this  season,  was  by 
sending  on  beforehand,  half  way,  a  light  carriage, 
so  that  the  horses  might  be  rested,  and  ready  to 
go  forward  directly  we  arrived. 

We  started  on  horseback ;  and  after  a  delight- 
ful ride,  sometimes  winding  through  fine  forests 
of  oak,  now  crossing  a  rich  green  meadow,  now 
losing  ourselves  and  making  straight  across  the 
country  for  the  nearest  village,  to  inquire  our 
way,  and  now  toiling  along  a  muddy  lane  where 
the  horses  sunk  almost  up  to  the  middle  in  the 
mire,  we  at  last  arrived  where  the  carriage  was 
waiting  for  us.  The  greatest  drawback  to  the 
pleasure  of  such  a  ride  is  the  danger  of  injuring 
one's  horse  in  crossing  the  rude  wooden  bridges 
which  are  thrown  over  the  brooks  in  this  country. 
They  are  composed  of  unhewn  stems  of  trees 
laid  side  by  side  with  a  coating  of  soil  over  them. 
From  accident  or  carelessness,  nothing  is  more 
common  than  to  find  a  considerable  interstice  be- 
tween these  stems,  which  is  concealed  by  the  soil, 
and  so  becomes  a  veritable  pitfall.  My  horse  put 

246  THE   GIPSIES. 

his  foot  into  one  of  these,  and  sank  up  to  the 
shoulder ;  but,  fortunately,  he  escaped  without 

In  the  course  of  our  ride,  in  a  small  valley  a  little 
off  the  road,  the  Baron  showed  me  a  colony  of 
gipsies, — permanent,  as  he  said,  in  contradistinction 
to  others  who  are  always  erratic, — who  occupy  a 
little  land,  and  do  him  some  work  for  it.  The 
reader  may  have  remarked  that  I  do  not  hesitate 
here,  as  well  as  in  other  parts  of  this  Work,  to 
speak  of  the  Czigany  of  the  Hungarians  by  the 
English  name  of  gipsies,  for  it  is  impossible  to 
doubt  their  identity.  There  is  the  same  dark  eye 
and  curling  black  hair,  the  same  olive  complexion 
and  small  active  form.  Then  their  occupations  and 
manner  of  life,  different  as  are  the  countries  and 
climates  they  inhabit,  still  remain  the  same ;  fid- 
dling, fortune-telling,  horse-dealing,  and  tinkering 
are  their  favourite  employments, — a  vagabond  life 
their  greatest  joy.  Though  speaking  several  tongues, 
they  have  all  a  peculiar  language  of  their  own,  quite 
distinct  from  any  other  known  in  Europe.  Here, 
as  with  us,  they  have  generally  a  king  too,  whom 
they  honour  and  respect,  but  I  have  not  been 
able  to  make  out  what  establishes  a  right  to  the 
gipsy  crown.  I  believe  superior  wealth,  personal 
cunning,  as  well  as  hereditary  right,  have  some 
influence  on  their  choice. 

They  first  made  their  appearance  in  this  country 
from  the  East,  about  the  year  1423,  when  King 

THE   GIPSIES.  247 

Sigmund  granted  them  permission  to  settle.* 
Joseph  the  Second  tried  to  turn  them  to  some 
account,  and  passed  laws  which  he  hoped  would 
force  them  to  give  up  their  wandering  life  and  be- 
take themselves  to  agriculture.  The  landlords  were 
obliged  to  make  them  small  grants  of  land,  and  to 
allow  them  to  build  houses  at  the  end  of  their 
villages.  I  have  often  passed  through  these  Czi- 
gany  vdros,  gipsy  towns,  and  it  is  impossible  to 
imagine  a  more  savage  scene.  Children  of  both 
sexes  to  the  age  of  fourteen,  are  seen  rolling 
about  with  a  mere  shred  of  covering,  and  their 
elders  with  much  less  than  the  most  unfastidious 
decency  requires.  Filth  obstructs  the  passage  into 
every  hut.  As  the  stranger  approaches,  crowds  of 
black  urchins  flock  round  him,  and  rather  demand 
than  beg  for  charity.  The  screams  of  men  and 
women,  and  the  barking  of  dogs — for  the  whole 
tribe  seems  to  be  in  a  state  of  constant  war- 
fare— never  cease  from  morning  to  night.  It  is 
rare,  however,  that  when  thus  settled,  they  can  re- 
main the  whole  year  stationary ;  they  generally  dis- 
appear during  a  part  of  the  summer,  and  only 
return  when  winter  obliges  them  to  seek  a  shel- 
ter. Others  wander  about  as  they  do  with  us, 

*  In  Hungarian  law  they  are  called  "new  peasants."  The 
name  of  Pharaoh  nepek,  Pharaoh's  people,  I  imagine  has  been 
given  either  from  contempt,  or  error.  The  name  Czig&ny,  by 
which  the  Hungarians  call  them,  is  so  like  the  Zingari,  Zigeuner, 
Gitani,  Gipsy,  of  other  nations,  that  I  have  no  doubt  it  is  the  one 
they  originally  gave  themselves. 

248  THE   GIPSIES. 

gaining  a  livelihood,  as  accident  throws  it  in  their 
way.  They  are  said  to  amount  to  sixty-two  thou- 
sand three  hundred  and  fifteen  in  Transylvania.* 
The  Austrian  Government,  I  believe,  is  the  only 
one  in  Europe  which  has  been  known  to  derive  any 
advantage  from  its  gipsies,  but  by  means  of  the 
tax  for  gold  washing,  to  which  we  shall  allude 
hereafter,  it  must  derive  a  considerable  revenue 
from  this  people.  They  are  often  taken  for  sol- 
diers, and  are  said  to  make  pretty  good  ones. 
Most  of  them  are  christened  and  profess  some 
religion,  which  is  always  the  seigneur's  —  not  the 
peasants'  —  of  the  village  to  which  they  belong. 
In  fact  the  gipsies  have  a  most  profound  respect 
for  aristocracy,  and  they  are  said  to  be  the  best 
genealogists  in  the  country. 

Their  skill  in  horse- shoeing,  —  they  are  the 
only  blacksmiths  in  the  country,  —  and  in  brick- 
making,  renders  them  of  considerable  value  to  the 
landlord.  What  is  the  exact  state  of  the  law  with 
respect  to  them,  I  know  not ;  but  I  believe  they  are 
absolute  serfs  in  Transylvania.  I  know  the  settled 
gipsies  cannot  legally  take  permanent  service  out 
of  the  place  they  were  born  in,  without  permis- 
sion, or  without  the  payment  of  a  certain  sum  of 

*  This  enumeration  is  taken  from  a  very  imperfect  statisti- 
cal work,  on  Transylvania  by  Lebrecht,  and  is,  I  suspect,  exag- 

+  In  Wallachia,  when  I  was  there,  they  were  sold  as  slaves  in 
the  open  market.  I  believe  this  law  has  been  since  abolished. 


They  are  just  as  great  beggars  here  as  else- 
where, and  just  as  witty  in  their  modes  of  begging. 
A  large  party  of  them  presented  themselves  one 

day  at  the  door  of  the  Countess  W ,  whom 

they  used  to  call  the  mother  of  the  gipsies,  from 
her  frequent  charities  to  them,  with  a  most  piteous 
complaint  of  cold  and  hunger — all  the  children, 
as  usual,  naked ;  when  the  chief  pulling  a  sad 
face,  begged  hard  for  relief;  "  for  he  was  a  poor 
man,"  he  said,  "  and  it  cost  him  a  great  deal  to 
clothe  so  large  a  family." 

Of  the  most  simple  moral  laws  they  seem  to  be 
entirely  ignorant.  It  is  not  rare  to  see  them  em- 
ployed as  servants  in  offices  considered  below  the 
peasant  to  perform.  They  never  dream  of  eating 
with  the  rest  of  the  household,  but  receive  a 
morsel  in  their  hands,  and  devour  it  where  they 
can.  Their  dwellings  are  the  merest  huts,  often 
without  a  single  article  of  furniture.  Having  such 
difficulty  in  supporting  themselves,  as  is  manifested 
in  their  wasted  forms,  one  cannot  help  wondering 
how  they  can  maintain  the  pack  of  curs  which 
always  infest  their  settlements,  and  often  render  it 
dangerous  to  approach  them.  By  the  rest  of  the 
peasantry  they  are  held  in  most  sovereign  con- 
tempt. As  I  was  travelling  along  the  road  one 
day,  after  my  return  from  Turkey,  my  servant 
turned  round  as  we  met  a  camp  of  gipsies,  and 
exclaimed,  "After  all,  sir,  our  negroes  are  not  so 
ugly  as  those  in  Turkey." 

250  NAGY    BANYA. 

On  arriving  at  a  village  about  half-way  to  Nagy 
Banya,  we  found  the  servants  had  laid  the  table 
at  a  miserable  cottage,  though  the  best  in  the 
place,  when  quickly  despatching  the  good  dinner 
which  was  waiting  for  us,  we  got  into  the  waggon 
and  hastened  on  as  fast  as  we  could.  It  was  night, 
however,  before  we  reached  our  destination ;  and 
we  had  an  opportunity  of  proving  the  inconve- 
niences of  travelling  in  the  dark,  in  such  a  coun- 
try ;  for,  in  passing  a  small  overflow,  the  waggon 
sunk  on  one  side  into  a  deep  hole,  and  quietly 
overturned  us  all  into  the  water.  We  escaped 
with  no  other  injury  than  a  good  wetting,  which 
we  managed  to  rectify  by  means  of  the  liqueur- 
bottle,  which  S had  instinctively  grasped  in 

the  fall,  and  so  secured  from  injury. 

Nagy  Banya,  is  rather  a  pretty  little  town,  with  a 
large  square  and  some  buildings,  so  good,  that  one 
wonders  how  they  could  ever  have  got  there.  The 
country  round  it  is  mountainous,  and  some  of  the 
valleys  in  the  neighbourhood  are  exceedingly  pretty. 
The  mining  district,  of  which  Nagy  Banya  forms 
the  chief  place,  extends  for  a  considerable  space 
around  it ;  but,  though  still  rich  in  ores,  it  is  much 
less  important  than  some  others  we  have  visited. 
The  most  interesting  of  the  mines  is  that  of  the 
Kreutzberg,  close  by  the  town,  which,  having  been 
worked  by  the  Romans,  and  afterwards  deserted, 
has  been  re-opened  within  the  last  eighty  years,  and 
now  yields  a  considerable  return.  We  entered  it 

NAGY    BANYA.  251 

by  a  fine  adit,  which  will  soon  be  fit  for  horse 
waggons.  Traces  of  the  beautiful  Roman  work 
were  visible  on  every  side.  We  found  them  work- 
ing a  new  vein,  or  rather  an  offset  from  the  old 
one,  which  was  tolerably  rich,  and  seemed  to  offer 
good  prospects  of  continuance.  The  centner  of 
ore  contains  about  eight  ounces  of  silver,  and  every 
ounce  of  silver  forty  denarii  of  gold.  The  Kreutz- 
berg  produces  about  four  marks  of  gold  per  month. 
The  matrix  is  generally  porphyry.  To  free  the 
mine  from  water,  an  eight-horse  wheel  working  a 
pump  is  kept  in  constant  motion.  Not  many  years 
since,  a  skeleton,  supposed  to  be  the  remains  of 
an  ancient  miner,  together  with  some  tools,  and  a 
Roman  lamp,  was  found  in  this  mine. 

The  most  interesting  object  connected  with  the 
Kreutzberg,  is  a  vast  cleft  which  penetrates  from 
the  surface  to  a  depth  of  three  hundred  and  eighty 
yards,  and  which  extends  twelve  hundred  yards  in 
length,  and  is  six  feet  wide.  When  this  cleft 
was  produced  is  not  known;  but,  if  I  remember 
rightly,  there  is  reason  to  believe  it  was  since  the 
time  of  the  Romans. 

We  visited  the  smelting-works,  which  are  situ- 
ated somewhat  higher  up  the  valley,  and  found 
them  in  a  better  condition  than  almost  any  others 
we  had  seen. 

The  chief  products  of  these  mines,  are  gold  and 
silver,  the  amount  of  which  I  have  seen  stated,  the 
former,  at  four  hundred  marks  per  an.,  the  latter, 

252  MINING. 

at  eighteen  thousand  marks.  Besides  these  some 
copper,  lead,  and  iron  are  produced.  The  officers 
on  the  spot  could  not  give  us  the  net  amount  of 
these  products  per  an.,  for  the  gold  and  silver  are 
sent  off  from  Nagy  Banya  to  Kremnitz  every  month, 
in  a  single  mass,  and  are  only  separated  when  they 
arrive  there.  Of  the  mixed  metal,  they  say  about 
twelve  hundred  marks  are  produced  every  month, 
which  would  reduce  the  amount  considerably  lower 
than  that  given  above. 

Mining  is  one  of  those  tempting  speculations, 
which  it  is  very  hard  for  persons  living  in  a  mining 
country  to  resist ;  yet  it  is  just  one  of  the  most 
dangerous,  for  those  ignorant  of  its  mysteries,  to 
meddle  with.  To  the  scientific  miner,  I  have  no 
doubt,  Transylvania  offers  certain  wealth;  but  to 
a  country  gentleman,  who  puts  his  money  into  a 
mine  much  as  he  would  into  a  lottery,  it  is  a  pretty 
certain  loss.  A  member  of  our  friend's  family  had 
fallen  into  this  snare,  and  we  had  intended  to  visit 
the  mine ;  but  we  heard  such  a  poor  report  of  it, 
that  it  was  not  thought  worth  the  time.  In  fact, 
a  steward,  who  had  been  dismissed  for  dishonesty, 
had  begged  to  be  employed  to  conduct  a  mine, 
which  he  declared,  after  a  very  small  outlay  for  the 
first  year,  would  not  only  pay  itself,  but  soon  pro- 
duce a  very  handsome  return.  From  a  mistaken 
feeling  of  kindness  the  request  was  granted ;  and 
now,  after  three  years1  working,  no  return  could 
be  heard  of. 


On  our  way  back  to  Hadad  the  next  day,  we 
began  to  feel  extremely  hungry,  and  our  horses 
seemed  quite  ready  for  a  rest  about  one  o'clock, 
at  which  hour  we  found  ourselves  near  a  village 
where  there  was  no  inn.  "  Never  mind,"  said  the 
Baron,  "  we  have  got  plenty  of  cold  fowls  and 
ham,  and  wine;  and  the  coachman  has  not  for- 
gotten some  corn  for  his  horses,  so  that  we  shall 
not  starve.  But,  as  it  would  not  be  pleasant 
to  sit  and  eat  our  dinner  here,  —  (the  snow  was 
beginning  to  fall,)  —  we  will  go  to  that  house," 
pointing  to  a  gentleman's  house  at  the  other  end 
of  the  village;  "for  though  the  master  is  not  at 
home,  and  I  know  him  very  slightly,  I  am  sure  the 
servants  will  be  very  glad  to  let  us  in/'  When 
we  drove  up  to  the  door,  the  servants  no  sooner 
heard  our  wishes,  than  they  opened  the  dining-room 
and  offered  us  anything  they  had,  as  if  it  had  been 
a  matter  of  course.  The  horses  were  put  up  in  the 
stable,  and  the  coachman  bought  some  more  corn 
of  the  bailiff  and  gave  them  a  double  feed.  The 
absence  of  inns  renders  this  kind  of  hospitality  an 
absolute  duty,  and  no  one  hesitates  to  avail  himself 
of  it  when  in  need. 

Though  it  was  yet  scarcely  the  middle  of  No- 
vember, the  snow  fell  so  heavily  that  every  one 
declared  it  was  setting  in  for  winter,  and  we 
were  glad,  therefore,  to  get  back  to  Klausenburg  as 
quickly  as  we  could.  It  was  melancholy  to  see  the 
peasants  up  to  the  knees  in  snow,  searching  for 


the  grapes  which  were  not  half  gathered.  It  is 
reckoned  that  a  great  part  of  this  year's  vintage  will 
be  entirely  lost.  By  following  a  longer,  but  better 
road,  we  were  enabled  to  reach  Klausenburg  in  two 
days,  with  no  other  accident  than  the  breaking  of 
some  iron-work  of  the  carriage,  which  we  were  able 
to  supply  by  means  of  ropes. 





Horse  Fair  at  Klausenburg.  —  Moldavian  Horses.  —  Cholera  in 
Klausenberg.  —  Thorda.  —  Valley  of  the  Aranyos. —  Miklos 
and  his  Peccadilloes.  —  A  Transylvanian  Invitation.  —  The 
Wallack  Judge. — Thoroczko. — The  Unitarian  Clergyman. — 
St.  Gyb'rgy. — A  Transylvanian  Widow. — Peasants'  Cottages. 
—The  Cholera.— A  Lady's  Road.— Thordai  Hasadek.— The 
Salt  Mines  of  Szamos  Ujvar.  —  The  Salt  Tax.  —  Karlsburg. — 
The  Cathedral  and  krumme  Peter. — Wallack  Charity. — Za- 
latna. — Abrud  Banya. — The  Gold  Mines  of  Voros  Patak — 
Csetatie.  —  Detonata.  —  Return.  —  College  of  Nagy  Enyed.  — 
English  Fund. — System  of  Education. 

THE  reader  must  now  allow  me  to  pass  over  three 
quarters  of  a  year,  of  which  period  I  shall  give  him 
no  further  account  than  to  say  it  was  passed  in 


travelling  through  some  parts  of  Greece  and  Turkey, 
and  he  must  fancy  me  returned  to  Transylvania, 
determined  to  see  the  part  of  the  country  which 
the  approach  of  winter  had  prevented  me  from 
visiting  the  year  before.  My  brother  had  taken 

Mr.  S 's  place  as  my  companion;  but,  alas! 

Mr.  H had  left  for  England,  and  I  was  forced 

to  content  myself  with  such  poor  sketches  as  I  could 
make  myself  of  what  most  struck  me  in  this  tour. 

When  I  came  back  to  Klausenburg,  it  was  just 
at  the  time  of  the  horse-fair ;  and  a  number  of  gay 
carriages  were  rolling  about,  making  the  whole 
place  seem  quite  alive.  This  fair  has  only  been  es- 
tablished a  few  years,  and  it  is  as  yet  considered  a 
matter  of  honour  for  the  chief  horse-breeders  to 
send  a  number  of  their  horses,  if  only  to  show  them. 
A  large  circus  has  been  enclosed  on  the  outside  of 
the  town,  in  which  the  horses  are  trotted  and  galloped 
round,  while  the  company,  including  a  crowd  of 
ladies,  occupy  a  kind  of  stand  erected  at  one  end. 
As  the  most  beautiful  horses  of  the  country  are 
produced  here,  and  as  they  are  often  ridden  by  their 
owners,  it  is  a  very  animated  scene.  On  the  outside 
of  the  circus,  the  carriage  horses  are  exhibited ;  and 
many  were  the  smart  teams  of  four  long-tailed  little 
horses,  which  whirled  the  light  carriages  round  the 

In  one  corner  we  found  a  group  of  some  hun- 
dred perfectly  wild  horses  from  Moldavia,  not  one 
of  which  had  ever  had  a  halter  round  his  neck. 


They  were  guarded  by  a  set  of  men,  if  possible,  even 
wilder-looking  than  themselves.  Some  of  these 
horses  were  by  no  means  deficient  in  good  points ; 
and  though  they  do  not  bear  a  high  character  here, 
the  low  price  at  which  they  were  sold, — eight  or 
ten  pounds  the  pair, — tempted  purchasers.  To  see 
the  newly  purchased  horses  separated  from  the  herd 
was  a  great  treat ;  it  was  one  of  the  most  clever  feats 
of  address  and  courage  I  almost  ever  witnessed.  No 
sooner  was  the  horse  fixed  on  and  pointed  out,  than 
one  of  the  savage-looking  tenders  rushed  into  the 
herd,  seized  him  by  the  ears  and  mane,  and  hung  to 
him  with  all  his  strength.  Alarmed  at  this  treat- 
ment, the  poor  beast  became  furious,  dashed  about, 
kicked,  reared,  and  put  every  artifice  of  horse  inge- 
nuity in  force  to  get  rid  of  his  enemy.  It  was  all  in 
vain,  there  the  fellow  hung, — now  in  the  air,  now 
on  the  ground, — he  still  held  to  the  head.  No  bull- 
dog could  pin  his  adversary  more  securely.  Fati- 
gued at  last  with  his  own  exertions,  the  horse  was 
quiet  for  a  moment,  when  a  rope  with  a  slip-noose 
was  thrown  over  his  neck,  on  which  three  or  four 
men  pulled  with  all  their  might,  till  they  dragged 
him  out  of  the  herd.  Half  dead  from  strangula- 
tion, fear,  and  fatigue,  the  poor  creature  was  now 
bound  tightly  to  his  fellow,  and  the  pair  were  led 
off.  When  they  first  felt  themselves  yoked  as  it 
were,  there  was  generally  one  more  struggle  for 
liberty;  but  it  was  useless,  they  only  exhausted 
each  other's  strength,  and  probably  became  suffi- 

VOL.  II.  S 


ciently  tame  in  a  few  hours,  to  be  harnessed  to  a 
waggon  and  driven  home. 

The  gay   aspect  of  Klausenburg,  however,  soon 
disappeared.     It  was  the  season  of  the  harvest,  and 
all   good   landlords    had    plenty    to    do   at    home. 
There    was    another   reason  also    which  called  the 
better-intentioued  into  the  country.     The   cholera 
was  raging  frightfully  through  almost  every  part  of 
the  land,  and  the  peasantry,  the  chief  sufferers,  had 
no  one  from  whom  they  could  ask  or  expect  aid 
and  advice  but  their  lords  and  ladies ;  and  nobly, 
in  many  instances,   did  they  perform  their  duties. 
Personal  attendance  even  in  some  cases,  and  medi- 
cine and  food  in  almost  all,  were  liberally  supplied. 
Of  the  numbers  who  perished  during  this  attack 
it  is  impossible  to  give  any  account;  I  doubt  even 
if  it  is  known.     In  Klausenburg,  for  some   time, 
the  number  of  deaths  amounted  to  from  twenty  to 
thirty  a  day;  and  before  it  ceased,  probably  not 
less  than  one-twentieth  of  its  population  was  car- 
ried off.     I  have  heard  of  some  villages   in  which 
even  a  tenth  perished.     We  were  lodged  just  op- 
posite   one   of  the   gates   of  the  town  which  led 
to  the   great   cemetery,  and  through   which  every 
corpse    was   carried    out.     From    two   o'clock,   as 
long  as  daylight  lasted,  the  funerals  proceeded  in 
one    melancholy    procession.      It    is    the    custom 
that  every  member  of  a  trade  should  be  followed 
by  the    whole    of    the    corporation    to   which    he 
belonged,  and   it    is  therefore  scarcely  a  figure  of 

THORDA.  259 

speech  to  say  that  all  Klausenburg  was  engaged 
in  this  mournful  task.  A  gipsy  band  is  a  ne- 
cessary attendant  on  a  Transylvanian  funeral ; 
and  it  is  usually  accompanied  by  the  voices  of  a 
hundred  followers  chanting  a  mass  or  singing  a 
psalm  as  they  marched  along.  The  soldiers,  too, 
suffered  severely,  and  the  fine  military  bands  were 
generally  heard  three  or  four  times  every  after- 
noon. These  melancholy  scenes,  and  the  continual 
tolling  of  the  great  bell,  rendered  Klausenburg 
really  more  like  a  city  of  the  dead  than  the 
living ;  and  we  were  heartily  glad  when  our  pre- 
parations were  made,  and  we  could  dissipate  our 
gloomy  thoughts  by  new  scenes  and  new  objects  of 

In  the  little  excursion  which  we  made,  and  which 
did  not  occupy  us  more  than  a  week,  I  think  it  will 
be  best  to  follow  my  journal. 

August  18th.  —  Left  Klausenburg  and  got  to 
Thorda  for  dinner.  Finding  nothing  very  interest- 
ing, though  there  are  said  to  be  some  remains  of 
a  Roman  road  in  the  neighbourhood,  and  the  post- 
house  is  ornamented  with  some  Roman  bas-reliefs 
we  engaged  horses  to  take  us  on  to  Thoroczko, 
where  we  hear  there  are  some  iron-mines  well 
worth  seeing.  We  agreed  to  pay  eight  shillings  a 
day  for  five  horses,  the  coachman  being  bound  to 
maintain  himself  and  steeds. 

The  road  to  Thoroczko  was  hilly,  and  in  many 
places  so  bad  that  we  could  only  advance  at  a 

s  2 

260         VALLEY  OF  THE  ARANYOS. 

foot  pace,  A  little  before  sunset,  we  arrived  at 
the  summit  of  a  very  high  hill,  from  which  we  had 
a  splendid  view  over  a  fine  mountainous  country, 
with  crags  and  precipices  on  every  side,  and  just 
below  us  the  little  village  of  Bare,  and  the  Aran- 
yos  winding  along  the  valley.  Across  the  river  was 
one  of  those  curious  covered  wooden  bridges,  so 
common  in  Switzerland  ;  indeed,  there  was  nothing 
but  a  snow  mountain  wanting  to  have  made  us 
fancy  ourselves  in  the  Cantons.  As  we  were  slowly 
descending  the  hill  at  the  imminent  hazard  of  our 
necks,  with  both  wheels  locked,  and  the  servant 
hanging  to  the  step  to  balance  it,  I  began  to 
make  some  inquiries  as  to  the  distance  we  had  still 
to  go  before  we  arrived  at  Thorockzo,  where  we  had 
been  told  there  was  a  comfortable  inn.  I  may 
add,  in  a  parenthesis,  that  a  comfortable  inn  in 
Transylvania  means  a  dry  room,  clean  straw,  and 
a  couple  of  roast  chickens  for  supper.  "  Oh,  I 
quite  forgot,"  exclaimed  Miklos,  "  to  tell  your 
grace  that  I  have  learnt  at  Thorda,  that  there  is 
no  inn  at  Thoroczko ;  but  it  is  of  no  consequence, 

for  the  Countess  T lives  there,  and  she  would 

certainly  be  very  glad  to  entertain  you."  It  was 
of  no  use  scolding — though,  like  most  angry  men, 
I  believe  I  forgot  that  in  my  anger — for  although 
this  fellow  had  been  in  my  service  nearly  a  year, 
I  had  never  been  able  to  make  him  feel  why  I 
often  preferred  a  poor  dirty  inn  to  a  handsome  man- 
sion, and  starved  chickens  to  good  fare.  That  any 

MIKLdS.  261 

motives  of  delicacy  could  make  me  hesitate  to 
intrude  on  the  hospitality  of  those  with  whom  I  was 
unacquainted,  was  an  idea  altogether  so  foreign 
to  the  habits  and  customs  of  Transylvania,  where 
in  fact  such  visits  are  not  considered  intrusions,  that 
it  was  no  wonder  the  poor  fellow  could  not  com- 
>rehend  it. 

But  it  is  time  I  introduced  this  same  Miklos  to 
the  better  acquaintance  of  the  reader,  for  a  traveller 
who  is  ignorant  of  the  vulgar  tongue  of  a  country 
in  which  he  travels,  is  so  dependent  on  his  servant, 
that  the  character  of  the  latter  has  often  more 
influence  on  his  adventures  than  even  his  own. 
After  dismissing  old  Stephan,  I  had  taken  a  man 
who  turned  out  so  great  a  rogue  that  I  was  obliged 
to  get  rid  of  him  as  soon  as  I  arrived  in  Klau- 
senburg  the  first  time ;  and  here  some  friend  found 
Miklos  for  me  to  supply  his  place.  Miklos  was  a 
stout  good-looking  little  fellow  of  about  twenty,  who 
spoke  Hungarian  and  Wallack  perfectly,  and  knew 
as  much  German  as  enabled  him  to  get  through 
a  message,  which  had  been  twice  repeated  to  him, 
with  only  two  or  three  blunders.  His  greatest 
merits  were  his  desire  to  travel,  and  his  constant 
good-humour  in  all  the  difficulties  attendant  on  it. 
If  anything  was  to  be  drawn  out  of  an  ill-tempered 
landlady,  or  a  rigid-looking  custom-house  officer  was 
to  be  softened,  Miklos  was  pretty  sure  to  manage 
the  affair.  Then  he  could  make  a  bed,  cook  a 
dinner,  cut  hair,  mend  clothes,  sleep  on  the  ground, 

262  MiKLds. 

fast  for  a  week,  and  bargain  with  a  Jew.  If  the 
carriage  stuck  in  the  mud  and  we  required  addi- 
tional assistance  to  get  it  out  again,  he  was  the  first 
to  mount  a  horse  and  gallop  off  without  bridle  or 
saddle  to  the  next  village,  and  it  was  hard  if  he 
came  back  without  having  obtained  his  object. 
If  the  coachman  could  not  drive  his  team  or  had 
an  unruly  leader,  Miklos  mounted  as  postilion  or 
took  the  reins,  and  drove  as  if  he  had  been  bred 
a  Jehu.  These  were  all  valuable  qualities;  but 
then  the  fellow  was  careless;  made  endless  mistakes, 
which  no  scolding  could  teach  him  to  avoid  for 
more  than  twenty-four  hours;  and  had,  moreover, 
a  shocking  habit  of  making  love  to  every  woman 
he  came  near.  He  got  deep  into  the  affections  of 
a  lady's  maid  at  Pest,  attracted  the  attentions  of 
a  Greek  widow  in  Constantinople,  promised  mar- 
riage to  a  Wallachian  girl  at  Bucharest,  and  was 
besieged  by  a  host  of  inamoratas  in  Klausenburg. 
Some  may  fancy  that  all  these  were  no  matters  of 
mine,  but  I  assure  them  they  are  mistaken,  for 
independently  of  the  annoyance  of  complaints  from 
masters  and  mammas,  love-making  occupies  much 
time  which  might  be  better  employed;  besides  that, 
leaving  every  place  one  enters  with  a  Dido  deso- 
lata  delaying  the  start  is  by  no  means  agreeable. 
Notwithstanding  his  peccadilloes,  however,  Miklos 
was  a  good  servant,  and  I  must  say  I  was  sorry 
when  I  left  the  country  and  was  obliged  to  part  with 
him — especially  when  I  saw  him  neglect  to  take 


up  his  money,  and    blubber  like   a  great  child  at 
leaving  me. 

The  valley  of  the  Aranyos  and  the  little  village 
of  Bare  which  we  had  now  reached,  looked  so  in- 
viting, that  I  was  much  tempted  to  make  a  better 
acquaintance  with  it,  and  accordingly  desired  Miklos 
to  see  if  it  was  not  possible  to  get  a  room  in  some 
peasant's  cottage  for  the  night.  The  judge  imme- 
diately offered  us  beds  in  his  house,  and  promised 
us  some  supper  too  if  we  would  stay;  an  offer  I 
was  glad  to  accept  in  spite  of  Miklos's  contemptu- 
ous expression  when  he  found  it  was  a  Wallack 
under  whose  roof  we  were  to  rest. 

While  they  were  making  all  possible  preparations 
in  the  cottage,  we  scrambled  along  the  craggy  banks 
of  the  river  for  a  considerable  distance  up  the  valley. 
Some  mines  in  the  neighbouring  mountains  gave 
food  to  an  iron  hammer  which  was  plying  its 
noisy  restless  task,  disturbing  the  whole  vale  with 
its  melancholy  song. 

However  Miklos  may  have  sneered,  the  Wal- 
lack judge's  cottage  was  by  no  means  so  bad. 
Besides  the  room  in  which  the  whole  family  lived, 
and  the  entrance  where  they  cooked, — both  of  which 
were  certainly  very  filthy, — there  was  another  room, 
which,  if  it  had  no  other  floor  than  the  hardened 
clay,  and  no  other  wall  than  the  baked  mud,  was 
yet  dry  and  tolerably  clean.  It  contained  two 
beds,  very  short  and  very  hard,  and,  all  around, 
were  hung  rude  earthen  jugs  and  pots,  and  in  one 


favoured  corner  was  a  cluster  of  pictures  of  hideous 
saints,  after  the  most  orthodox  models  of  the  Greek 
church.  But  the  pride  of  the  family  consisted 
in  a  long  row  of  not  less  than  twenty  aprons, 
besides  a  number  of  shirts,  ostentatiously  displayed 
along  one  side  of  the  room.  The  aprons  were  such 
as  are  commonly  worn  by  the  Wallack  women  ;  but 
of  a  finer  wool,  and  of  beautiful  colours.  The  shirts 
were  of  coarse  linen,  but  prettily  embroidered  with 
blue  at  the  wrists  and  neck.  The  whole  of  this 
treasure  was  the  produce  of  the  housewife's  own 

As  we  were  examining  these  arrangements,  while 
Miklos  was  disposing  some  new  pieces  of  home- 
spun linen  in  the  guise  he  thought  most  likely  to 
make  us  fancy  them  a  table-cloth  and  napkins,  a 
clattering  of  horses'  hoofs  was  heard  to  cease  at 
the  door,  and  he  was  presently  called  out  to  speak 
to  some  stranger.  When  he  returned,  it  was  to 

announce  that  a  servant  of  the  Countess  T was 

just  come  to  say  that  his  mistress  had  heard  of  our 
visit  to  Thoroczko,  and  would  expect  us  to  take 
beds  at  her  house.  Here  was  a  pretty  affair  !  The 
carriage  unpacked,  the  horses  in  the  stable,  and  we 
expected  some  miles  off!  However,  it  was  now  too 
late  to  think  of  going  further,  and  besides,  I  had 
taken  a  fancy  to  the  Wallack's  cottage.  The  beds 
too  were  made,  a  wax-light  robbed  from  the  car- 
riage —  these  people  were  too  poor  to  have  candles 
of  any  kind  —  threw  a  cheerful  light  over  the  room, 


everything  was  put  in  order,  and  I  fancied  it  looked 
very  comfortable ;  in  addition  to  which,  the  cloth, 
such  as  it  was,  was  laid,  and  the  smell  of  roasting 
was  far  from  disagreeable  to  men  who  had  not  eaten 
since  mid-day,  so  that  there  was  nothing  to  be  done 
but  send  a  very  polite  message  with  an  excuse  for 
not  coming,  on  account  of  the  lateness  of  the  hour, 
and  a  promise  to  do  ourselves  the  honour  of  paying 
a  visit  the  next  day. 

I  know  not  whether  it  was  the  difficult  masti- 
cation of  the  fibrous  old  cock  which  now  smoked 
upon  the  table,  or  some  other  cause,  which  called 
up  certain  doubts  in  my  mind  as  to  the  correctness 
of  the  message  which  had  just  been  delivered ;  but 
certain  it  is  they  did  arise,  and  I  forthwith  ques- 
tioned Miklos  as  to  whether  he  had  learnt  how  the 
Countess  could  have  heard  of  our  coming,  as  we 
knew  she  herself  had  but  just  returned  to  Tho- 
roczko  from  another  part  of  the  country.  "  Why/' 
said  Miklos,  making  more  than  his  usual  num- 
ber of  blunders  in  German,  as  he  answered,  "  the 
fact  is,  the  Countess  does  not  know  of  it  yet,  but 
she  soon  will ;  the  servant  who  had  been  to  Klau- 
senburg  on  business,  had  heard  there  of  your  Grace's 
arrival  in  this  part  of  the  country,  and  so  he  thought 
of  course  you  would  visit  his  lady,  and  he  hastened 
home  to  tell  them  of  your  corning ;  but  as  he  found 
we  were  stopping  here,  he  told  your  Grace  that 
they  already  were  expecting  you,  that  he  might 
not  have  to  come  back  again  to  say  so."  And  thus, 


on  the  servant's  invitation,  I  had  coolly  sent  to  say 
I  should  visit  a  lady  to  whom  I  had  no  introduc- 
tion, and  whom,  though  I  knew  by  name,  I  had 
never  seen  in  my  life.  Oh !  I  could  have  broken 
the  rascal's  head  for  his  blunder!  but  he  was  evi- 
dently unconscious  of  any  fault,  and  thought,  I  have 
no  doubt,  that  both  he  and  the  other  servant  were 
a  couple  of  very  clever  fellows. 

19th.  —  Rose  early,  got  a  sketch  of  the  bridge 
and  river,  and  started  for  Thoroczko,  where  we  ar- 
rived before  ten.  It  is  a  pretty  little  town,  cleaner 
and  with  better  houses  than  one  generally  sees. 
Its  inhabitants  are  all  Magyars  and  Unitarians. 
A  friend  in  Klausenburg  had  given  us  a  letter  to 
the  Unitarian  clergyman,  as  the  person  best  able 
to  give  us  information  of  anything  worth  seeing  in 
the  neighbourhood,  and  we  drove  straight  to  his 
house.  He  was  out  attending  a  sick  parishioner; 
but  his  wife  received  us,  and  insisted  on  sending 
to  inform  him  of  our  coming. 

In  the  mean  time  we  entered  his  modest  dwelling, 
which,  except  in  being  rather  larger,  and  having 
the  kitchen  and  servant's  room  separated  from 
the  dwelling-rooms,  differed  little  from  those  of  his 
peasant  neighbours.  Its  interior,  however,  bespoke 
his  superiority.  The  two  little  rooms  of  which  it 
consisted  were  crowded  with  book-shelves.  Here 
they  groaned  under  quartos  of  Latin  theology  > 
there  they  displayed  probably  all  the  best  works 
in  Hungarian  literature,  —  and  no  great  number 


either  —  while,  in  another  part,  belles  lettres  and 
natural  history  flourished  in  mis-shapen  tomes  from 
the  German  press.  Some  fine  minerals  from  the 
neighbourhood  which  were  scattered  about,  and  a 
number  of  little  drawers,  which  I  am  sure  con- 
tained specimens,  declared  our  priest  a  natural 
philosopher.  While  we  were  making  these  ob- 
servations, a  stout,  middle-aged  man,  with  a  mild 
expression  of  countenance,  long  black  hair  hanging 
down  his  back,  and  dressed  in  an  Hungarian  coat 
and  knee-boots,  made  his  appearance;  and  by  a 
long  complimentary  speech  in  Latin,  proclaimed 
himself  our  host.  Before  he  was  half  through  his 
address,  I  interrupted  him,  and  petitioned  for  Ger- 
man; but  lie  declared  off  on  the  score  of  inability, 
and  we  were  accordingly  forced  to  carry  on  a  medley 
discourse  of  Latin  and  German,  as  we  best  could. 

We  found  the  immediate  object  of  our  visit,  the 
iron  mines,  were  in  a  very  bad  state,  and  scarcely 
worth  the  trouble  of  seeing.  The  clergyman  told 
us  of  several  natural  curiosities  in  the  mountains 
near;  but  they  demanded  a  day  or  two  at  least 
to  visit  them,  and  we  determined  therefore,  after 
paying  our  self-proffered  visit  to  the  Countess,  who, 
our  friend  assured  us,  was  a  "nobilissima  et  gene- 
rosissima  dama?  to  return  to  Thorda.  We  were 
not  allowed  to  leave,  however,  without  visiting  the 
Unitarian  church;  a  large,  and  rather  handsome 
building  for  the  size  of  the  town.  The  object  to 
which  our  attention  was  more  immediately  drawn, 

268  ST.  GYORGY. 

however,  was  the  organ ;  it  was  a  recent  acquisition, 
and  was  exhibited,  I  thought,  with  no  small  feeling 
of  clerical  pride. 

After  all,  the  Countess  T did  not  live  at 

Thoroczko,  and  we  were  therefore  obliged  to 
penetrate  some  miles  further  into  this  beautiful 
valley  before  we  reached  St.  Gyorgy,  the  place 
of  her  residence.  Nothing  can  be  more  secluded 
than  this  valley,  nothing  more  lovely.  On  one 
side  it  is  bounded  by  precipitous  cliffs,  on  the  very 
summit  of  which  we  could  perceive  some  ruins  of 
an  old  castle,  on  the  other  are  wooded  hills,  and  in 
the  middle  a  pretty  stream  and  rich  meadows  and 

We  drove  at  once  to  the  chateau,  where  we  were 
received  as  expected  guests,  our  horses  taken  out, 
and  ourselves  set  down  to  lunch,  as  a  matter  of 

course.     The  Countess  T was  a  lady  of  the  old 

school,  possessing  all  that  easy  dignity  of  manner 
which,  when  united  to  a  warm  heart,  forms  the 
perfection  of  the  social  character;  and,  though 
now  in  the  decline  of  life,  exhibiting  a  regularity 
and  delicacy  of  features,  which  told  she  must 
have  been  a  beauty  in  her  younger  days  —  nor 
was  their  tale  belied  by  the  image  of  those  days 
which,  for  us  was  reproduced  in  the  person  of 
her  daughter.  The  servant  had  not  been  mis- 
taken ;  for  it  was  certain  that  his  mistress  expected 
not  only  that  we,  but  that  all  other  gentlemen 
who  travelled  through  her  secluded  valley  should 

ST.   GYORGY.  269 

visit  her  on  their  way.  Any  idea  of  leaving  be- 
fore dinner  was  scarcely  allowed  utterance.  "  As 
a  widow,"  said  the  Countess,  "  my  forenoons  are 
pretty  well  occupied,  for  in  Transylvania,  we  must 
be  farmers,  miners,  doctors,  and  I  know  not  what 
else  beside.  I  leave  you  free,  therefore,  till  the 
hour  of  dinner,  when  I  shall  expect  the  pleasure 
of  seeing  you  again.  See,"  she  added,  "the  bou- 
quet my  steward  has  brought  me  this  morning ; 
it  is  composed  of  the  heaviest  ears  of  corn  he 
has  been  able  to  find  this  season,  and  I  assure  you 
no  hothouse  flowers  could  be  half  so  agreeable 
to  me." 

The  Countess  Julia  observed,  that  perhaps  as 
strangers,  we  might  feel  interested  in  visiting  the 
cottages  of  some  of  the  peasants ;  and  added  that 
if  we  did  not  fear  the  cholera,  which  had  unfor- 
tunately made  its  appearance  in  the  village,  she 
should  be  happy  to  show  us  some.  Of  course  we 
were  delighted  to  accept  the  offer.  "  St.  Gyorgy," 
she  added,  "  is,  I  believe,  one  of  the  richest  villages 
in  Transylvania;  and  for  the  credit  of  my  country, 
I  am  therefore,  the  more  anxious  you  should  see 
it.  The  peasants  are  Magyars,  and  mostly  of  the 
Unitarian  belief." 

The  cottages  were  of  one  story,  and  built  on 
the  same  general  plan  as  all  the  others  we  had 
seen ;  but  in  many  cases  they  were  larger,  and 
the  farmyards  seemed  more  plentifully  stocked. 
One  house  into  which  we  were  taken,  might 

270  THE   RICH    PEASANT. 

have  been  held  up  as  a  pattern  of  cleanliness  and 
order  in  any  country.  Round  the  best  room 
hung  a  prodigious  quantity  of  fine  bed-linen, 
beautifully  embroidered  on  the  edges,  in  different 
colours.  "  This  is  the  handiwork  of  the  unmar- 
ried girls,  and  is  intended  as  their  dower :  and 
hard  enough  they  work  at  it/'  smilingly  added 
our  fair  informant,  "  for  they  cannot  get  hus- 
bands, till,  by  such  works  as  these,  they  have 
given  good  proofs  of  their  industry  and  talent." 
The  daughter  of  the  house  was  easily  persuaded 
to  put  on  her  Sunday  costume,  which  was  as 
rich  as  embroidery  and  ribbons  could  make  it. 
The  St.  Gyorgy  girls  are  said  to  have  the  hand- 
somest dresses  of  any  village  in  the  district.  What 
a  pity  it  is,  that  all  these  beautiful  costumes,  and 
the  honest  pride  and  self-esteem  they  give  rise  to, 
must  disappear,  as  soon  as  the  cheap  wares  of 
Manchester,  or  some  other  cotton  capital,  gain 
entrance  to  these  valleys,  and  drive  household 
manufactures  from  the  field  !  If  real  civilization, 
founded  on  improved  institutions  and  an  enlight- 
ened system  of  education,  do  not  accompany  the 
introduction  of  luxuries  produced  by  machinery, 
they  may  become  a  curse  instead  of  a  blessing  to 
a  people.  It  is  difficult  to  find  for  the  uneducated 
peasant-woman  an  occupation  more  befitting  her 
powers  of  mind  and  body,  more  consistent  with 
her  duties  of  mother  and  housekeeper,  than  is 
afforded  by  the  simple  processes  of  spinning  and 

ST.  GYORGY.  271 

weaving.  If  this  is  taken  away,  and  the  means 
of  applying  herself  to  higher  and  more  difficult 
objects  are  not  afforded,  she  has  little  left  but 
idleness,  or  the  coarse  degrading  labours  of  the 

The  owner  of  this  house,  though  a  simple  peasant, 
was  said  to  be  possessed  of  more  than  a  thousand 
pounds.  The  only  advantage  he  had  enjoyed  above 
his  fellows,  was  in  being  freed  from  the  seigneurial 
labour-dues  for  some  service  rendered  to  the  late 
Count,  —  industry  and  sobriety  had  done  the  rest. 
The  only  book  I  could  see  in  the  house,  was  a  large 
Hungarian  Bible,  richly  bound  and  fastened  with  a 
pair  of  heavy  brass  clasps. 

We  had  time  enough  before  dinner  to  wander 
about  the  village,  and  climb  a  conical  hill,  at  a  little 
distance  from  it,  on  which  stand  the  picturesque 
ruins  of  the  Castle  of  St.  Gyorgy.  We  had  a  fine 
view  from  this  point,  over  the  whole  valley.  Further 
than  we  had  yet  traversed,  we  could  observe  an 
exit  from  it  by  means  of  a  vast  cleft  in  the  lime- 
stone rocks  which  otherwise  bounded  it  on  every 
side.  On  looking  back  over  the  road  we  had  come, 
we  saw  more  clearly  the  few  walls  on  the  summit 
of  those  stupendous  cliffs,  which  mark  where  the 
old  castle  of  Thoroczko  formerly  stood.  It  would 
require  at  least  two  hours'  good  climbing  to  reach 
it  from  the  valley.  It  was  formerly  always  the  lot 
—  I  cannot  call  it  privilege — of  the  eldest  sons 
of  the  family  of  Thoroczko  to  inhabit  this 

272  THE   CHOLERA. 

mountain  nest ;  while  the  younger  were  allowed 
to  choose  some  less  ambitious  dwelling  in  the 

"You  have  visited  St.  Gyb'rgy  at  a  very  unfor- 
tunate moment,"  said  the  Countess  when  we  re- 
turned ;  "  the  cholera,  which  set  in  only  two  days 
ago,  has  assumed  a  very  serious  aspect  to-day.  Since 
yesterday  no  less  than  four  deaths  have  been  re- 
ported to  me,  and  I  fear  we  must  expect  many 
more."  For  these  persons  we  found  the  Countess 
was  the  sole  physician,  her  house  their  dispensary, 
and  sometimes  even  their  hospital,  for  she  had  had 
several  of  them  brought  there,  that  they  might  be 
better  attended  to.  Several  times,  during  dinner, 
her  daughter  was  obliged  to  leave  the  table  to  send 
off  medicines  for  some  new  patient  who  claimed 
her  aid.  In  this  she  was  assisted  by  the  steward 
and  clergyman,  who  seemed  both  to  take  an  active 
interest  in  the  fate  of  the  poor  sufferers.  During 
the  short  time  we  remained,  five  more  deaths  were 

In  returning  to  Thorda,  the  Countess  proposed 
that  we  should  take  a  nearer  road  than  that  by 
which  we  had  come.  "  It  is  rather  a  rough  one," 
she  added ;  "  but  it  is  the  one  I  always  take  my- 
self, and  I  do  not  suppose  that,  for  young  men  like 
you,  its  little  dangers  will  be  any  objection."  After 
many  adieus  and  kind  invitations  to  renew  our 
visit  at  a  more  favourable  moment,  we  at  last 
started.  Our  new  route  led  us  almost  immedi- 

A  LADY'S  ROAD.  273 

ately  from  the  village,  up  the  sides  of  a  high 
and  steep  mountain,  after  having  mastered  which, 
we  were  promised  a  continual  descent.  As  we 
turned  round  to  take  a  last  look  at  the  scene 
we  were  leaving,  we  witnessed  one  of  those  beau- 
tiful effects  which  none  but  the  dwellers  in  moun- 
tain lands  can  ever  behold.  A  storm  came  roaring 
up  the  valley  below  us,  throwing  everything  into 
deep  shade,  except  the  castle  on  the  hill,  which 
caught  a  gleam  of  sunshine,  and  stood  out  in 
bright  relief  against  the  black  mountains  behind 
it.  We  paid,  however,  dearly  for  the  treat : 
by  a  sudden  veer  of  the  wind,  the  storm  seemed 
to  quit  the  valley ;  and  clinging  to  the  side  of 
the  mountain,  followed  our  footsteps,  overtook 
us,  and  beat  with  such  force  on  the  horses  that 
they  turned  round  and  refused  to  move  any 
further.  Flogging  made  no  impression  on  them, 
they  only  kicked  and  backed,  —  and  they 
had  chosen  for  that  operation  a  ridge  cof  the 
mountain,  from  whence  one  might  have  slipped 
into  immortality,  almost  before  one  was  aware 
of  it. 

Our  only  remedy  was  to  sit  still  while  Miklos 
mounted  one  of  the  horses,  and  went  back  to  beg 
the  Countess  would  lend  us  some  oxen  to  drag  us 
up  the  rest  of  the  mountain.  A  peasant,  however, 
who  was  at  work  at  some  distance,  and  saw  our 
difficulty,  took  his  horses  out  of  the  plough ;  and 
harnessing  them  before  ours,  got  us  at  last  to  the 

VOL.  n.  T 


top.  So  much  time  had  been  lost,  that  it  very  soon 
became  dark,  and  we  found  ourselves  in  a  bad  and 
dangerous  road,  which  it  was  impossible  to  traverse 
faster  than  at  a  foot  pace.  Miklos  was  obliged  to 
take  the  lamps  and  walk  on  before,  while  we  held 
the  carriage  from  falling  over.  We  were  not  only 
every  moment  in  danger  of  overturning,  but  of  losing 
the  carriage  at  the  bottom  of  a  ravine  whence  it 
would  have  been  impossible  to  recover  it.  Instead 
of  four  hours,  we  occupied  eight  in  this  short  cut, 
but  we  were  too  well  contented  to  have  escaped 
with  whole  skins,  to  grumble  at  the  loss  of  time. 
Such  roads  may  suit  Transylvanian  ladies,  but 
Heaven  preserve  all  English  gentlemen  from  them ! 
- — A  steeple-chase  is  safe  in  comparison. 

20th.  —  Projected  a  visit  this  morning  to  the 
Thordai  Hasadelc,  a  mountain  cleft,  of  the  same 
kind  as  that  we  saw  at  a  distance  yesterday  from 
St.  Gyorgy,  but  said  to  be  much  larger.  In  tra- 
versing the  few  miles  which  separate  the  Hasadek 
from  Thorda,  we  passed  over  a  part  of  the  Prat  de 
Trajan,  where  the  great  victory  was  gained  by  Tra- 
jan, over  Decebalus.  Though  Transylvanian  anti- 
quaries place  the  scene  of  the  action  more  to  the 
east,  and  nearer  the  banks  of  the  Maros,  than  our 
route  led  us,  I  am  inclined  to  think  they  must  be  in 
error ;  for  we  observed  a  great  number  of  tumuli 
in  this  direction,  of  a  size  and  form  which  render 
it  exceeding  probable  that  they  were  intended » 
to  commemorate  the  death  of  the  heroes  who  fell 


on  that  occasion.  I  am  not  aware  that  any  of  them 
have  been  opened,  or  that  any  tradition  exists  as  to 
their  origin. 

After  about  an  hour's  drive  we  arrived  at  the 
entrance  to  the  Hasadek.  We  descended  into  a 
little  valley  in  the  form  of  a  semicircle,  which  sur- 
rounds the  opening  of  the  cleft,  and  is  inhabited  by 
a  few  poor  Wallacks  and  their  cows;  and  scram- 
bling over  some  broken  rocks,  entered  this  extraor- 
dinary place. 

Let  the  reader  imagine  a  chain  of  low  mountains, 
twenty  miles  long,  cut  transversely  through  to  a 
level  with  the  valleys  they  divide,  and  he  will  have 
some  idea  of  the  Thordai  Hasadek.  In  no  place 
(I  should  think)  is  the  cleft  more  than  twenty  yards 
wide  at  the  bottom,  though  it  increases  somewhat 
towards  the  top.  As  might  be  supposed,  the  sides  of 
it  are  as  precipitous  as  anything  can  be  imagined. 
A  small  stream  which  rises  from  some  springs  in 
the  semicircular  valley,  makes  its  way  among  the 
broken  rocks  through  the  cleft,  and  passes  out  at 
the  other  side.  It  so  nearly  occupies  the  whole 
of  the  space  left  between  the  rocks,  that  we  had  to 
cross  it  at  least  twenty  times  in  order  to  find  dry 
footing;  sometimes  we  had  to  pick  our  way  for 
a  considerable  distance  along  the  stepping-stones 
placed  by  the  peasants  in  its  bed,  and  once  to  climb 
the  rocks  at  the  imminent  hazard  of  slipping  into 
the  pool  below. 

Some  of  the  cliffs  in  this  valley  are  truly  mag- 

T   2 



nificent.  In  one  place  they  rise  from  the  very 
base,  in  a  perpendicular  line  to  the  summit,  a 
height  I  will  not  ven- 
ture to  guess.  About 
midway  through  the  Ha- 
sade*k,  and  at  some  height 
up  the  side  of  the  cliff, 
there  is  a  remarkable 
cavern  called  the  Bay- 
luka.  A  steep  pathway 
leads  up  to  the  entrance, 
which  is  defended  by  a 
double  wall,  with  ram- 
parts and  holes  for  musketry.  The  cave  itself  is 
large,  and  arched  like  a  vast  Gothic  hall,  and  is 
capable  of  containing  a  hundred  persons.  Beyond 
the  first  chamber  it  divides  into  several  smaller 
ones,  which  we  could  not  penetrate  far  into,  for 
want  of  lights.  It  is  extraordinary  that  opposite 

the  Bayluka,  on  the  other 
side  the  cleft,  there  is  a 
second  cavern,  of  which 
the  natural  entrance  is 
exactly  like  the  first. 
This  is  interesting;  be- 
cause it  proves  that  they 
were  once  joined  toge- 
ther, and  that  it  was  only 
by  some  violent  convul- 
sion that  they  were  torn 


asunder.     The  stratum  is  a  compact  limestone,  as 
far  as  I  observed,  without  fossils. 

The  first  of  these  caverns  was  formerly  the  fa- 
vourite stronghold  of  a  celebrated  Transylvanian 
robber,  Bay,  from  whom  it  takes  its  name.  A 
number  of  popular  stories  exist  about  this  Bay, 
though  I  was  not  able  to  collect  any  of  much  in- 
terest; but  if  he  was  half  the  hero  he  is  repre- 
sented, it  must  have  required  a  brave  man  to 
attack  him  in  his  mountain  fortress. 

We  traversed  the  cleft  completely  to  the  other 
end,  and  I  should  say,  the  distance  is  from  two  to 
three  miles.  At  one  point,  where  the  brook  filled 
up  the  whole  valley,  and  the  rocks  came  down  close 
to  the  water's  edge,  we  met  a  gay  party  of  peasant 
lads  and  lasses  in  their  holiday  clothes,  apparently 
going  to  some  merry-making  in  the  next  valley. 
The  lads  tripped  lightly  over  the  rocks,  where  we 
could  hardly  find  footing,  and  many  were  the  jokes 
and  jeers  they  cast  at  the  girls,  when  they  sat  down 
to  take  off  their  sandals  preparatory  to  wading  the 
brook,  which  they  preferred  to  the  exposure  their 
modesty  feared  from  climbing  the  rock.  A  curious 
phenomenon  we  observed  at  the  far  end  of  the  val- 
ley,— a  natural  arch  formed  in  the  rock,  with  an 
arched  roof  and  window,  so  much  like  the  work  of 
the  Gothic  architect,  that  it  is  no  wonder  the  pea- 
santry should  have  christened  it  the  chapel.  I  must 
not  forget  that  the  superstitious  attribute  the  whole 
cleft  to  a  prayer  of  St.  Ladislaus,  who  entreated  that 


the  mountain  might  open,  and  save  him  from  the 
heathens.  If  it  is  so,  I  can  only  say  we  are  in- 
debted to  the  saint  for  one  of  the  most  beautiful 
scenes  of  rocky  grandeur  I  know. 

On  our  return  to  Thorda  we  started  for  Maros 
Ujvar,  a  small  village  about  twelve  miles  off,  where 
are  the  chief  salt-mines  of  Transylvania,  which  we 
reached  late  in  the  evening. 

21st. — We  sent  to  request  permission  to  enter 
the  mines,  and  received  a  polite  answer,  that  we 
had  only  to  present  ourselves,  and  one  of  the  offi- 
cers would  feel  great  pleasure  in  conducting  us  over 

The  chief  part  of  the  salt-mines  of  Maros  Ujvar, 
is  formed  by  three  vast  subterranean  chambers.  As 
they  were  not  using  the  buckets,  we  were  obliged 
to  descend  by  the  staircase.  Before  we  had  reached 
six  feet  from  the  surface,  the  salt  was  already  per- 
ceptible. After  passing  some  new  workings  which 
we  shall  understand  better  when  we  have  describ- 
ed the  principal  ones,  we  descended  to  the  lower 

We  entered  at  one  end  of  a  vast  hall — two  hun- 
dred and  seventy  feet  long  by  one  hundred  and 
eighty  wide,  and  two  hundred  and  ten  high, — with 
a  Gothic  arched  roof,  dimly  lighted  by  the  candles 
of  the  miners.  At  the  opposite  end  to  that  by 
which  we  entered,  was  a  huge  portal,  reaching 
nearly  to  the  top  of  the  chamber,  and  affording  en- 
trance to  a  second,  and  that  again  to  a  third  hall 

OF    MAROS   UJVAR.  279 

of  equal  extent  with  the  first.  On  a  signal  being 
given,  a  sudden  blaze  burst  forth  in  each  of  these 
chambers,  and  lighted  up  the  whole  space  with  a 
brilliant  illumination.  It  was  the  grandest  sight 
I  had  ever  beheld.  The  walls  were  of  solid  rock- 
salt,  which,  if  not  so  dazzling  as  writers  are  gene- 
rally pleased  to  describe  it,  was  extremely  beautiful 
from  the  variety  of  its  colours.  It  resembled 
highly  polished  white  marble  veined  with  brown, 
the  colours  running  in  broad  wavy  lines. 

The  size  of  these  halls,  the  effect  of  the  light, 
the  grandeur  and  extreme  simplicity  of  the  form, 
with  the  exquisite  purity  of  the  material,  impressed 
me  with  a  feeling  of  their  architectural  beauty, 
beyond  that  of  almost  any  object  of  art  I  know. 
No  words  can  express  the  intense  enjoyment  with 
which  I  regarded  them. 

As  soon  as  we  could  sober  down  sufficiently  to 
listen  to  the  details  of  our  conductor,  he  pointed 
out  the  whole  floor  of  the  chamber  covered  with 
workmen  employed  in  detaching  and  shaping  vast 
masses  of  the  salt  rock  preparatory  to  its  ascent. 
It  is  cut  by  means  of  sharp  hammers  into  long 
blocks  of  about  one  foot  in  diameter,  which  are 
afterwards  broken  up  into  masses,  weighing  from 
fifty-eight  to  fifty-nine  pounds  each,  and  in  this 
form  it  is  brought  to  market.  The  accuracy  with 
which  they  can  measure  the  weight  is  extraor- 
dinary. After  shaping  his  block  above  and  on 
the  sides,  the  miner  calls  to  two  or  three  of  his 


neighbours  to  aid  him  in  detaching  its  base  from 
the  rock.  This  is  effected  by  repeated  blows  of 
very  heavy  hammers  on  the  upper  surface,  the  most 
exact  time  and  equality  of  force  being  maintained. 
This  is  the  severest  part  of  their  labour,  but  it  lasts 
only  a  few  minutes  at  a  time. 

The  number  of  workmen  employed  here  is  about 
three  hundred.  Among  these  are  Magyars,  Wai- 
lacks  and  Germans.  The  Magyars  are  said_  to 
work  the  hardest,  but  also  to  drink  the  hardest.  I 
believe  the  tales  one  so  often  hears  of  men  being 
born  and  dying  in  mines  without  ever  having  seen 
the  light  is  pure  fiction  ;  it  certainly  is  not  the  case 
anywhere  in  Hungary,  and  least  of  all  here.  The 
miners  begin  their  work  at  three  o'clock  in  the 
morning  and  leave  it  at  eleven,  and  the  average 
rate  of  wages  for  eight  hours'  labour  is  about  ten 
pence.  In  such  large  spaces  the  air  could  scarcely 
be  otherwise  than  good,  and  the  temperature  is 
always  the  same — 13°  of  Reaumur — summer  and 
winter.  The  employment  is  far  from  unhealthy, 
and  even  children  often  apply  themselves  to  it 
very  young. 

Some  of  the  new  workings,  which  are  higher 
than  those  we  have  described,  are  laid  out  for  the 
same  kind  of  chambers.  In  one  part  a  hole  has 
been  cut  through  the  roof  of  the  first  great  hall, 
and  as  we  looked  into  the  vast  abyss,  innumerable 
lights  seemed  dancing  below,  and  figures  flitting 
round  them,  while  the  clear  ring  of  many  hammers 

OF  MAROS   UJVAR.  281 

faintly  reached  the  ear.  The  poet  who  would  de- 
scribe a  descent  to  Erebus,  might  envy  me  that 

The  quantity  of  salt  annually  produced  from  these 
mines  is  six  hundred  thousand  centners,  all  of 
which,  with  the  exception  of  about  thirty  thousand 
used  in  the  neighbourhood,  is  sent  to  Hungary.*  In 
this  calculation  I  believe  the  dust  salt,  or  broken  par- 
ticles produced  by  the  hammering,  is  not  included. 
Many  thousand  centners  of  this  salt  are  thrown 
into  the  river  every  year.  For  each  of  the  masses 
of  fifty-eight  pounds  which  we  have  mentioned 
above,  the  miner  receives  two  and  a  half  kreutzers 
(twopence).  With  all  the  expenses,  however,  the 
centner  is  delivered  at  the  pit's  mouth,  for  about 
twenty-four  kreutzers  c.  m.,  or  tenpence.  It  is 
sold  in  Transylvania  at  three  florins  and  a  half,  or 
seven  shillings,  the  centner.  The  greater  part, 
however,  is  sent  by  the  Maros  to  Szegedin,  at  an 
expense  of  about  tenpence  more  each  centner.  It 
is  sold  there  at  seven  guldens  and  a  half,  or  fifteen 
shillings,  the  centner ! 

There  has  been  so  much  complaint  against  this 

*  The  east  of  Transylvania  is  supplied  from  mines  in  the 
Szekler  land,  which  we  shall  visit  later,  and  the  North  of  Hungary 
chiefly  from  Velicska  and  the  Marmaros.  In  a  small  work  on 
Transylvania,  published  by  M.  Lebrecht,  in  1804,  the  amount  of 
salt  furnished  by  Transylvania,  is  stated  at  above  a  million  cent- 
ners. The  price  was  then  one  fifteenth  of  what  it  is  at  present. 
The  population  has  increased  and  the  consumption  fallen  off.  Is 
not  the  elevation  of  price  the  cause  ? 

282  THE   SALT-TAX. 

price  of  salt  in  the  Diet,  that  we  must  say  a  few 
words  more  about  it. 

A  monopoly  of  the  sale  of  salt  is  one  of  the 
Royal  privileges,  acknowledged  as  such  by  the 
nation,  and  enjoyed  by  the  Crown  for  a  long  suc- 
cession of  years.  It  can  hardly  be  supposed,  how- 
ever, that  the  right  of  the  Crown  can  extend  to 
raising  the  price  of  one  of  the  first  necessaries  of 
life  to  any  amount  it  may  think  fit ;  for  this  would 
be  the  admission  of  an  indefinite  and  irresponsible 
right  of  taxation  on  all  classes.  To  go  no  farther 
back  than  1800,  the  price  of  salt  was  at  half  a 
florin  (one  shilling)  per  centner.  The  long  and 
exhausting  wars,  which  brought  on  two  national 
bankruptcies  within  a  few  years  of  each  other,  were 
an  excuse  for  raising  this  price  to  three  florins 
and  a  half  in  Transylvania,  and  seven  and  a  half 
in  Hungary.  Even  during  the  continuance  of  the 
war,  complaints  enough  were  heard  against  this 
augmentation,  and  since  that  time  they  have  be- 
come every  year  more  angry  and  more  just. 
Now  there  are  several  reasons  which  render  the 
continuance  of  this  exorbitant  burthen  peculiarly 
injudicious.  First  of  all  it  has  a  bad  reputation. 
The  gabelle  has  been  so  often  the  cry  by  which  a 
revolutionary  leader  has  excited  the  passions  of  a 
mob, — it  is  so  closely  associated  with  recollections 
which  all  prudent  statesmen  would  avoid  awaken- 
ing, that  one  cannot  help  wondering  it  should  be 
continued.  And  then,  hitherto,  the  Hungarians 

THE  SALT-TAX.  283 

have  entertained  a  notion  that  their  cattle  could 
not  live  without  a  large  admixture  of  salt  with  their 
food  ;  but  they  are  beginning  to  find  out  that  this 
is  an  error,  and  to  see  that  although  the  cattle  like 
salt  and  will  eat  coarser  food  with  it  than  they 
would  without,  it  is  neither  necessary  to  keep  them 
in  health  nor  to  feed  them;  and  if  such  a  dis- 
covery spreads  very  far,  it  will  cause  a  greater 
loss  to  the  revenue  than  the  diminution  of  two- 
thirds  of  the  price  of  the  salt,  for  the  quantity 
used  by  men  is  small  in  proportion  to  that  given 
to  the  cattle. 

But  the  most  extraordinary  part  of  the  affair  is, 
that  the  Government  incurs  this  obloquy,  and  runs 
the  chance  of  this  loss,  all  to  no  purpose.  The 
whole  line  of  frontier,  from  the  Adriatic  to  the 
boundaries  of  Russia,  is  beautifully  adapted  for 
smuggling;  and  bulky  as  salt  is,  I  can  assure  the 
reader  it  is  smuggled  in  along  the  whole  of  this 
frontier.  If  I  am  asked  from  whom  I  have  ob- 
tained this  information,  I  can  only  answer  from 
some  of  the  Government  salt  officers  in  Hungary, 
who  told  me  that  they  themselves  bought  their  salt 
from  the  smugglers  !  If  any  Austrian  official  doubts 
the  extent  to  which  this  traffic  is  carried  on,  let 
him  compare  the  returns  from  the  frontier  coun- 
ties with  those  from  the  interior,  in  proportion  to 
their  population,  and  he  will  hardly  doubt  the  fact. 

I  have  been  shown  the  salt  smugglers'  paths  on 
the  frontiers  of  Wallachia,  where  they  often  come 


over  with  whole  troops  of  laden  horses.  I  have 
heard  from  the  county  magistrates,  that  it  was 
ridiculous  to  attempt  to  oppose  them ;  that  they 
had  the  sympathy  of  the  peasantry  with  them,  and 
were  not  only  able  to  bribe  the  border  guard,  but 
that  they  came  in  such  numbers,  and  so  well  armed, 
that  they  did  not  dare  even  to  make  a  show  of  resist- 
ing them.  I  doubt  if  there  is  one  great  proprietor 
in  the  south  of  Hungary,  who  uses  Government  salt, 
except  in  such  quantity  as  decency  requires  to  blind 
officers  who  do  not  wish  to  see.  In  that  part  of 
Hungary,  bordering  on  Transylvania,  the  more  ten- 
der-conscienced  declare  they  would  not  use  Turkish 
salt  on  any  account;  but  I  found  that  that  was 
because  it  was  cheaper  to  smuggle  it  from  Trans- 
sylvania,  where  it  is  only  half  the  price  it  is  in 
Hungary.  "  Oh ! "  they  exclaimed,  when  charged 
with  this  peccadillo,  "we  buy  the  Emperor's  salt, 
at  any  rate  ;  we  don't  go  to  those  rascally  Turks 
for  it:" — absolutely  priding  themselves  on  their 
loyalty,  when  compared  with  the  sinnings  of  their 

And,  then,  what  has  become  of  the  paternal 
anxiety  to  keep  out  the  plague,  which  led  to  the 
establishment  of  such  a  vast  and  perpetual  cordon 
as  that  of  the  borderers?  It  is  certain,  that  not  a 
day  terminates  in  which  men  with  bags  of  salt  do 
not  pass  from  one  country  to  the  other,  without 
any  intervention  of  quarantine,  or  process  of  puri- 
fication. For  the  maintenance  of  a  paltry  tax,  the 


health  of  all  Europe  is  constantly  exposed  to  an 
invasion  of  the  plague  ! 

The  foreign  trade,  of  course,  is  entirely  lost  by 
he  increase  of  price;   and   Wallachia,    Moldavia, 

id  Servia,  which  formerly  drew  their  salt  from 
Hungary,  now,  as  we  have  seen,  return  the  com- 

22nd. — Karlsburg.  We  arrived  here  last  night, 
after  a  pleasant  drive  along  the  rich  and  beautiful 
valley  of  the  Maros.  Every  day  these  valleys  of 
Transylvania  gain  on  one's  affections.  They  are 
so  green,  so  smiling,  so  varied  in  their  beauties, 
that  it  is  impossible  not  to  love  them. 

Our  host,  we  find  is  a  character.  Krumme  (lame) 
Peter,  as  he  is  called,  is  a  noble ;  and,  besides  the 
)rivileges  of  his  order,  he  is  one  of  those  happy 
mortals  who  have  achieved  the  right  to  say  and  do 
whatsoever  seemeth  them  good  to  whomsoever  they 
please.  Though  his  inn  is  by  no  means  the  best,  and 
although  he  allows  no  one  to  find  fault,  everybody 
goes  to  it  for  the  sake  of  Krumme  Peter.  It  is 
amusing  to  see  how  quietly  he  assumes  an  equality 
with  the  proudest  Count  or  Baron  of  the  state ;  how 
he  discusses  their  families,  their  fortunes,  their  opi- 
nions, and  what  sharp  home  truths  he  sometimes 
tells  under  that  air  of  half-dignity,  half-buffoonery, 
he  commonly  puts  on.  And  then,  Krumme  Peter, 
keeps  a  table  which  might  content  a  bishop,  and 
he  does  the  honours  of  it,  too,  with  a  feeling  of 
the  importance  of  the  duty ;  and,  after  all,  he 


charges  you  so  little,  that  you  begin  yourself  to 
doubt  whether  you  have  not  been  his  guest  rather 
than  his  customer. 

Karlsburg  is  formed  by  two  distinct  towns,  the 
one,  a  long,  ill-built,  straggling  village,  occupying 
the  plain ;  the  other,  a  handsome  fortress,  con- 
taining many  good  buildings  and  neatly  laid  out, 
situated  on  the  hill  above.  We  reached  the  for- 
tress by  a  winding  road,  defended  by  walls,  into 
which  were  built  a  number  of  Roman  statues, 
and  tablets  bearing  inscriptions.  These  are  re- 
mains of  the  Roman  Colonia  Apulensis,  which  oc- 
cupied the  site  of  Karlsburg.  Within  the  fortress 
is  a  museum,  in  which  still  more  interesting  anti- 
quities of  the  same  period  are  preserved.  Colo- 
nia seems  to  have  been  the  mining  capital  of 
the  Romans  in  Dacia,  the  seat  of  the  Collegium 
Aurariarum,  and  the  residence  of  the  Procurator 
or  chief  officer  of  the  gold  mines. 

The  present  fortress  is  of  no  greater  age  than 
the  time  of  Charles  the  VI.  (1715),  whose  name 
it  bears.  As  a  fortress,  nothing  can  be  worse 
placed ;  it  is  ill  supplied  with  water,  and  com- 
manded by  the  neighbouring  hills.  It  is  said  to 
have  been  built  after  a  plan  of  Prince  Eugene's  ; 
and,  if  I  mistake  not,  it  is  not  the  only  bad  fortifi- 
cation I  have  heard  attributed  to  him. 

In  the  centre  of  the  fortress  is  a  fine  cathedral, 
built  in  fulfilment  of  a  vow  to  St.  Michael,  made 
by  Hunyadi  Janos,  in  the  battle  of  St.  Imre.  I 


think  it  was  in  this  battle  that  the  order  had  been 
given  to  the  Turkish  army  to  seek  out  and  destroy 
Hunyadi,  who  was  distinguished  by  his  white  plume 
and  brilliant  armour.  This  news  having  been  re- 
ported to  the  Hungarians,  Kemeny,  one  of  the 
officers  of  Hunyadi,  assumed  the  armour  of  his 
chief,  and  nobly  devoted  himself  to  a  certain  death, 
to  save  his  country  the  loss  of  her  greatest  general. 
The  cathedral,  which  is  small,  is  in  a  style  half 
Gothic,  half  Byzantine,  characteristic  enough  of 
the  age  and  history  of  its  erection.  The  exterior 
is  heavy,  and  the  ornaments,  which  are  in  the 
barbarous  taste  of  the  Byzantine  school,  are  far 
from  relieving  it.  The  interior,  however,  is  in  a 
more  bold  and  pure  Gothic  style;  and  the  tra- 
cery on  the  capitals  of  some  of  the  long  slender 
pillars,  is  as  graceful  and  light  as  anything  in 

For  a  long  time,  this  cathedral  was  the  favourite 
burying-place  of  the  princes  of  Transylvania.  The 
tombs  of  Hunyadi,  and  his  beheaded  son  Ladis- 
laus,  and  another  of  his  family,  though  much  in- 
jured, are  still  interesting.  The  figures  of  the 
knights,  which  resemble  those  we  so  often  see  in 
our  own  churches,  decorate  the  top  of  each  sarco- 
phagus. That  of  Hunyadi  is  represented  as  clothed 
in  a  flowing  mantle,  beneath  which  is  a  tight  sur- 
coat,  fastened  round  the  waist  by  a  cord,  and  which, 
falling  back  from  the  legs,  displays  the  tight  panta- 
loons, resembling  those  worn  at  the  present  day. 


The  two  other  figures  are  of  a  later  date,  and  are  of 
much  ruder  workmanship.     They  are  both  in  ar- 
mour, but  with  waists  more  ridiculously  pinched  in, 
than  even  a  Paris  milliner  would  venture  on.     Still 
further,  we  found  the  tomb  of  Isabella,  and  her  son, 
John  Sigmund  Zapolya.     It  was  this  princess  who 
introduced  from  Poland,  her  native  country,  the  doc- 
trines of  Unitarianism  into  Transylvania,  and  who 
likewise  granted  equal  rights  and  privileges  to  the 
four  churches,  which  still  constitute  the  established 
religions  of  the  country.    This  monument  is  in  white 
marble,  of  a  considerable  size,  and  ornamented  with 
bas-reliefs,  interesting  as  illustrating  the   costume 
and  mode  of  warfare  of  that  age.     We  find  cannon 
and  heavy  arquebuses  already  in  use,  although  the 
horsemen  are  completely  encased  in  armour.     The 
chivalry  of  Transylvania  is  seen  advancing  in  battle 
array,  each  knight  bearing  on  his  spear  not  only  his 
banner,  but  a  kind  of  tuft,  something  like  the  horse 
tails  of  a  Turkish  Pasha.     Under  the  great  porch, 
we  observed,  on  one  side,  a  slab  to  the  memory  of 
George  Rakotzy  I.,  and  on  the  opposite  side  was 
the  pedestal  of  another,  of  which  the  slab  had  been 
removed.     It  is  said,  that  in  1716,  when  the  Ca- 
tholics again  obtained  possession  of  the  cathedral — 
for  it  had  served  in  turn  for  Catholic,  Unitarian, 
and   Calvinist  —  they   had   the    pitiful    bigotry   to 
destroy  the  monument  of  Bethlen  Gabor,  which  for- 
merly stood  there.     The   verger  denied  all  cogni- 
zance of  the  matter,  but  confessed  he  knew  nothing 

THE   MINT.  289 

of  any  such  monument ;  and  I  must  say,  this  vacant 
place  looks  very  much  as  if  the  allegation  were  true. 
I  could  not  help  smiling  at  the  pious  horror  the 
verger  seemed  to  have  of  Protestant  persecution, 
when  he  said,  that  during  the  time  the  Protestants 
possessed  the  church,  they  only  allowed  the  Ca- 
tholics the  use  of  the  porch,  which  was  fitted  up  as 
an  oratory ;  but  he  forgot  to  say  that  the  Catholics 
did  not  leave  the  Protestants  even  that  poor  pri- 
vilege, but  turned  them  out  altogether. 

The  Transylvanian  mint,  where  all  the  gold  found 
in  Transylvania  is  coined,  stands  near  the  cathedral. 
We  were  allowed  to  walk  in  and  examine  it  with- 
out difficulty.  We  found  them  at  work  with  some 
new  presses  made  by  an  Englishman  in  Vienna ; 
they  spoke  of  them  in  high  terms,  and  they  were 
certainly  very  superior  to  those  we  had  seen  at 
Kremnitz.  The  average  monthly  coinage  I  have 
seen  stated  at  100,000  florins  (10,000/.  sterling). 
This  is  probably  about  correct,  for  I  find  the  whole 
amount  of  gold  said  to  be  produced  in  Transyl- 
vania, estimated  at  2500  marks  (the  mark,  3G/. 
12*.)  or  91,500/. ;  of  silver,  500  marks,  (mark,  21. 
10*.)  or  12,500/.;  together  104,000/.  Great  com- 
plaints are  made  by  private  speculators  in  mines, 
against  the  facilities  afforded  by  the  mint  to  gold 
robbers.  In  an  article  of  so  much  value,  it  is 
almost  impossible  to  prevent  the  common  miners 
from  stealing  when  occasions  offer ;  but  good  police 
regulations,  which  would  prevent  jewellers  from 

VOL.  ii.  u 


purchasing  raw  metal,  and  strict  observance  on  the 
part  of  the  mint,  to  receive  it  only  from  persons 
who  can  have  obtained  it  honestly, — and  that  is 
easily  known,  for  every  mining  adventurer  must 
possess  a  permission  from  the  Crown — would  do 
much  to  check  the  practice.  Here,  on  the  contrary, 
every  grain  is  eagerly  grasped  at  by  the  mint  under 
the  absurd  and  mischievous  notion  which  we  have 
often  had  to  notice,  that  it  might  otherwise  be  sold 
out  of  the  country,  and  so  impoverish  the  land. 
Thus  we  see  a  government  establishment  from  pure 
ignorance  of  the  simplest  principles  of  political 
economy,  labouring  to  demoralize  those  whom  it 
ought,  and  whom  I  believe  it  wishes  only  to  benefit. 
On  quitting  Karlsburg,  for  the  mines  of  Zalathna, 
we  left  the  valley  of  the  Maros,  and  with  it,  to  all 
appearance,  the  habitable  world  itself.  A  secluded 
valley  cut  out  of  the  hard  rock  by  the  little  river 
Ompoly,  whose  banks  we  followed,  brought  us  at 
last  however  to  our  journey's  end.  It  was  a  sultry 
day,  and  five  long  hours  did  it  take  us  to  accom- 
plish the  task.  Not  that  we  had  anything  to  com- 
plain of;  the  valley  was  often  pretty,  and  every 
now  and  then  a  curious  rock,  which  seemed,  as  it 
were,  to  have  started  from  the  side  of  the  mountain, 
gave  occupation  to  our  thoughts  in  attempting  to 
account  for  the  manner  of  its  formation.  And  a 
still  more  pleasant  theme  for  musing, — for  it  was  on 
the  kindliness  of  the  heart  of  man, — did  we  discover 
in  a  custom  of  this  secluded  valley.  Under  the  cool 

CHARITY.  291 

shade  of  a  large  spreading  tree  by  the  road  side,  and 
just  high  enough  to  place  it  out  of  the  reach  of 
cattle,  we  noticed  a  small  wooden  frame,  some- 
thing like  that  often  seen  in  Catholic  countries, 
containing  the  image  of  a  favourite  saint.  Instead 
of  a  saint,  however,  in  this  one  there  was  a  large 
pitcher,  such  as  the  peasants  commonly  use  for  car- 
rying water.  Opposite  this  tree  our  peasant  driver 
deliberately  pulled  up  his  horses,  and  getting  off 
the  box,  took  down  the  pitcher  from  its  niche,  and, 
after  first  offering  it  to  us,  indulged  in  a  long  and 
hearty  draught  of  the  pure  fresh  water  it  contained. 
To  the  Transylvanian  peasant,  under  a  Transylva- 
nian  sun,  a  great  quantity  of  water  is  an  absolute 
necessary.  Of  that  we  had  been  often  made  aware, 
for  our  coachmen  constantly  stopped  the  carriage 
without  thinking  it  at  all  necessary  to  ask  permis- 
sion whenever  they  saw  a  well,  or  a  clear  stream, 
to  quench  their  thirst;  we  had  often,  too,  seen 
the  peasant  woman,  as  she  carried  home  her  full 
pitcher  from  the  well,  offer  it  to  the  passing  tra- 
veller without  a  moment's  hesitation,  though  it  cost 
her  the  trouble  of  returning  some  distance  to  refill 
it.  But  here,  where  no  friendly  spring  was  nigh, 
some  neighbouring  peasant  family  had  undertaken 
to  supply  the  deficiency  by  erecting  this  little 
structure,  and  providing  it  with  a  constant  supply 
of  fresh  water.  How  many  a  weary  traveller  had 
gained  fresh  strength  from  the  bounty  of  this 
unknown  hand  !  "  I  was  thirsty,  and  ye  gave  me 

u  2 


drink;"  —  never  were  the  words  of  our  Saviour 
more  beautifully  illustrated ;  never  was  charity 
performed  in  a  more  Christian  spirit. 

23rd.— At  Zalathna  itself,  there  was  little  to  be 
seen  beyond  the  smelting  houses,  which  differed 
in  no  essential  points  from  those  we  had  seen 
before.  At  some  distance  further  up  into  the 
mountains,  in  the  neighbourhood  of  Voros  Patak, 
we  had  heard  that  there  were  some  extraordinary 
mines,  and,  somewhere  in  the  same  direction  a 
basaltic  mountain  of  very  wonderful  proportions. 
So  having  spent  a  good  part  of  the  morning  in 
providing  a  guide  and  saddle  horses, — for  we  were 
told  it  was  impossible  to  make  the  excursion  in 
a  carriage,  —  we  ate  an  early  dinner  and  started. 
Besides  ourselves  and  the  Wallack  guide,  we  set 
Miklos  between  a  couple  of  carpet  bags,  on  a 
fourth  horse,  that  he  might  serve  as  interpreter 
and  general  provider.  Our  immediate  destination 
was  Abrud  Banya,  where  we  were  promised  beds 
and  a  supper. 

For  the  first  two  hours  the  road  led  us  along 
a  thickly  wooded  valley,  where  our  horses  had 
some  difficulty  to  find  a  footing  among  the  loose 
stones  with  which  it  was  filled.  No  solitude  could 
be  more  complete ;  during  the  whole  time  not  a 
soul  crossed  our  path.  Just  at  the  point  where 
we  were  to  leave  this  valley,  and  cross  the  moun- 
tain, about  half  the  distance  to  Abrud  Banya,  we 
came  suddenly  on  a  comfortable-looking  little  inn, 


with  half  a  dozen  carriages  and  a  number  of  ser- 
vants standing  before  the  door.  A  more  unex- 
pected apparition  could  scarcely  have  presented 
itself  in  the  back  woods  of  America. 

We  had  hardly  passed  the  door  before  some  of 
the  servants  came  running  after  us  with  their 
masters'  salutations,  requesting  to  know  who  we 
were,  and  where  we  were  going,  and  offering  us, 
at  the  same  time,  their  company  on  the  road.  The 
first  part  of  the  matter  I  had  no  hesitation  in 
satisfying,  but  the  latter  was  more  than  I  could  un- 
dertake. I  know  that  I  was  wrong, — I  am  perfectly 
aware  that  a  traveller  who  undertakes  to  amuse  or 
instruct  others  by  his  travels,  is  in  duty  bound  to 
suffer  all  manner  of  annoyances ;  to  go  "  poking  his 
nose "  —  as  a  certain  minister  for  foreign  affairs 
expresses  it  when  his  protection  is  asked  for  an 
enterprise  of  difficulty  and  danger — into  all  manner 
of  disagreeables,  where  he  has  any  hope  of  extract- 
ing amusement  or  information ;  and  from  these 
gentlemen  I  have  no  doubt  I  might  have  obtained 
much,  for  they  were  the  great  mining  notabilities 
from  the  whole  country  round — the  Berg  Raths  and 
Berg  Inspectors,  and  I  know  not  who  else  beside, — 
who  had  been  solemnly  admitting  a  new  member 
ito  their  body,  of  course  over  a  good  dinner, 
that  forming  a  part  of  all  solemn  ceremonies  all 
over  the  world.  I  know,  therefore,  how  much 
I  have  failed,  and  I  impose  this  confession  on 
myself  as  a  punishment  for  my  backsliding ;  but 


really  1  had  not  the  courage  to  go  through  the 
ordeal  of  answering  all  their  questions  about  our- 
selves, our  objects,  and  our  travels  ;  of  listening  to 
all  their  remarks  thereon,  and,  above  all,  of  suffer- 
ing their  hospitality — for  there  are  moments  when 
well-meant  but  rude  hospitality  inflicts  much  suffer- 
ing. In  fact  I  must  have  been  out  of  temper,  for 
all  I  could  bring  my  politeness  to  do,  was  to  answer 
their  queries,  that  they  might  not  take  us  for  spies, 
or  what  not,  and  apologize,  on  the  plea  of  a  coming 
storm,  for  not  delaying  longer  on  the  way. 

As  we  passed  the  mountain,  we  had  occasion  again 
to  wonder  at  the  strange  passion  the  middle  classes 
here  seem  to  have  for  travelling  in  carriages  in 
preference  to  horseback  or  on  foot.  The  road  was 
frightful;  in  many  places  it  was  positively  dan- 
gerous, and  everywhere  rough  enough  to  dislocate 
the  best-set  bones;  yet  we  met  a  young  man  of 
not  more  than  twenty,  sitting  out  all  this  in  a 
waggon  without  springs,  and  smoking  his  meer- 
schaum just  as  composedly  as  if  he  had  been 
enjoying  himself  exceedingly. 

When  we  had  reached  the  other  side  of  the 
mountain,  and  had  again  descended  into  a  valley, 
we  found  ourselves  in  the  midst  of  mining  opera- 
tions on  every  side.  Not  a  little  stream  but  was 
employed  in  moving  crushing-mills  and  washing 
ore.  Most  of  those  we  remarked  were  working 
gold  ores,  which  prevail  over  the  whole  of  this 
district ;  but  some  also  those  of  mercury,  which 


occurs  in  the  form  of  cinnabar.  I  was  sorry  not 
to  have  an  opportunity  of  seeing  the  process  by 
which  the  mercury  is  extracted  from  the  cinnabar; 
but  I  could  not  make  out  even  where  it  is  car- 
ried on. 

Abrud  Banya,  which  we  reached  before  sunset,  is 
a  little  metropolis  in  its  way,  and,  like  many  of  the 
mining  towns,  astonishes  the  stranger  by  an  exhi- 
bition of  wealth  and  luxury  which  he  little  expects 
to  find  in  the  midst  of  the  wildest  natural  scenery. 
Many  of  the  houses  are  large,  and  really  hand- 
somely built.  Some  have  owed  their  origin  to 
persons  whom  a  lucky  mining  adventure  has  made 
suddenly  rich,  others  to  the  officers  of  Government 
who,  some  how  or  other,  manage  to  live  well,  and 
acquire  wealth  in  spite  of  their  paltry  salaries : — I 
leave  the  explanation  of  this  interesting  mystery 
to  the  penetration  of  their  employers. 

24th. — We  got  off  this  morning  at  an  early  hour, 
in  hopes  of  reaching  Zalathna  before  night,  but  the 
accounts  of  the  distance  as  well  as  of  what  we  have 
to  see,  are  so  various  and  contradictory,  that  it 
seems  highly  probable  we  may  have  to  bivouac 
somewhere  in  the  mountains.  Our  first  point  was 
the  mines  of  Voros  Patak,  the  Csetdtie  or  fortress,  as 
it  is  called.  For  the  first  hour  we  kept  along  a  good 
road,  constructed  for  the  conveyance  of  the  ores 
from  Voros  Patak  to  Abrud  Banya,  where  they  are 
smelted.  The  country  was  a  succession  of  moun- 
tains as  far  as  the  eye  could  reach,  for  the  most  part 


covered  with  wood,  or  pasture.  We  noticed  several, 
however,  the  lower  portions  of  which  were  conical, 
while  their  summits  offered  a  singular  appearance  of 
a  small  table-land  supported  by  bare  cliffs.  At  a 
distance  they  looked  like  rocky  islands,  standing 
out  from  a  stormy  ocean.  From  their  white  appear- 
ance, I  suspect  them  to  be  limestone. 

On  leaving  the  road,  which  would  have  conducted 
us  to  the  bottom  of  the  valley  in  which  lies  Verb's 
Patak,  we  turned  along  the  back  of  the  mountain, 
and  in  about  half  an  hour  arrived  at  the  Csetdtie 
Mike,  or  little  fortress.  This  hill  is  so  called  from 
the  appearance  of  a  ruined  fortress,  —  or  rather  of  a 
honeycomb,  bored  through  and  through  on  every 
side, — which  it  presents.  The  most  unlearned  of  my 
readers  are  probably  aware  that  in  the  generality 
of  mines,  the  metalliferous  ores  are  found  in  veins 
which  traverse  the  mountains  in  various  directions, 
and  that  it  is  the  duty  of  the  miner  to  pursue 
these  wherever  they  may  go,  removing  only  so 
much  of  the  surrounding  matter  as  is  necessary  to 
enable  him  to  carry  on  his  operations  ;  here,  on  the 
contrary,  the  whole  mountain  mass  contains  gold 
and  it  is,  in  consequence,  cut  away  somewhat  as 
we  often  see  stone  in  a  common  quarry,  and  in 
this  form  it  is  conveyed  to  the  crushing-mills,  and 
broken  up.  Sometimes  it  is  found  too  in  a  nest, 
or  bunch,  that  is,  a  small  extent  containing  much 
more  ore  than  the  surrounding  mass.  Formerly, 
however,  it  possessed  veins  too,  of  wonderful  rich- 


ness,  and  these  the  early  miners  have  pursued  and 
exhausted,  and  it  is  to  the  open  mouths  of  these 
old  levels,  and  to  the  peculiar  operations  carried  on 
at  the  present  time,  that  it  owes  its  remarkable 

The  Csetdtie  Mare  (the  great  fortress),  on  the 
other  side  of  the  mountain,  is  still  more  curious. 
The  whole  top  of  the  mountain  has  fallen  in,  and 
produced  a  kind  of  vast  hall,  open  above,  in  the 
very  heart  of  the  mountain  itself.  From  the  side  of 
the  mountain  we  entered  an  old  level,  large  enough 
for  laden  horses  to  pass  through  —  something  like 
a  covered  way  into  a  fortress  —  and  in  a  short  time 
arrived  at  a  large  circular  space  completely  walled  in 
by  solid  rock.  Above  us  was  a  wide  opening,  — 
something  like  what  the  crater  of  a  volcano  may 
seem  to  Vulcan's  friends  as  they  amuse  themselves 
below — and  round  about  a  number  of  open  passages 
of  every  size  and  shape.  These  openings  were  the 
remains  of  former  workings,  and  they  were  highly 
illustrative  of  the  history  of  mining  in  Transylvania. 
There  were  small  passages  scarcely  large  enough  for 
the  body  of  a  man,  which  I  am  inclined  to  refer  to 
the  efforts  of  the  barbarians  both  before  and  after 
the  conquest  of  Dacia ;  then  there  were  the  stately 
chiselled  levels  of  the  Roman  workmen,  and  here 
and  there  marks  of  where  the  fire  had  done  its 

*  I  strongly  recommend  the  careful  study  of  this  mountain 
and  district,  to  those  interested  in  the  inquiry,  as  to  the  origin 
and  causes  of  metalliferous  veins. 


work ;  and  again  the  more  careless  traces  of  the 
modern  Wallack's  labours.  It  is  probable  that  the 
greater  part  of  this  space  had  been  exhausted  before 
the  top  fell  in  ;  and  from  the  appearance  of  the 
masses  which  still  encumber  it,  I  should  imagine  it 
to  have  been  a  mere  shell.  Some  of  the  old  Roman 
levels,  which  we  followed  deeper  into  the  mountain 
to  see  the  present  workings,  are  really  splendid.  I 
think  it  is  no  exaggeration  to  say  that  a  carriage 
and  pair  might  drive  along  them. 

It  is  a  curious  fact  in  the  history  of  labour  that 
there  are  no  large  capitals  employed  in  working 
these  mines ;  they  are  entirely  in  the  hands  of  poor 
peasants,  who  work  them  either  singly  or  in  small 
associations  of  two  or  three  persons.  When  the 
mountain  was  richer,  Government  found  it  worth 
while  to  work  on  its  own  account;  but  since  it 
has  become  poorer,  none  but  the  peasants,  it  is 
said,  can  get  a  good  profit  out  of  it.  Accordingly, 
when  a  peasant  makes  an  application  for  a  grant 
of  so  many  square  yards  of  mountain  it  is  never 
refused  him,  unless  it  interferes  with  the  workings 
of  some  of  his  neighbours.  The  working  we  visited 
was  carried  on  by  a  father,  two  sons,  and  their 
mother.  The  father  bored,  blasted,  and  filled  the 
panniers,  while  one  son  sometimes  aided  him,  some- 
times drove  the  horse  from  the  mine  to  the  crush- 
ing-mill. Here  the  other  son  and  the  mother  were 
engaged,  or  sometimes  the  mother  alone.  In  other 
cases  the  same  hands  dig  the  ore,  transport  it  to  the 


river,  dress  it,  wash  it,  and  finally  convey  it  to 
Abrud  Banya.  It  is  scarcely  necessary  to  say,  with 
such  a  system,  that  all  these  processes  are  carried 
on  in  the  rudest  possible  manner.  As  we  looked 
from  the  top  of  this  mountain  into  the  valley  below, 
I  think  we  must  have  seen  not  less  than  five  hun- 
dred crushing-mills  and  washing-floors  within  the 
space  of  a  couple  of  English  miles.  They  consisted 
of  a  single  small  wheel,  generally  deficient  in  half 
its  buckets,  which  moves  three  crushing-poles,  none 
of  which  go  equally,  and  one  of  which  is  generally 
wanting,  or  broken.  As  the  crushed  stuff  falls 
down,  it  is  carried  by  the  water  over  a  single  board, 
and  the  small  residue  it  leaves  is  collected,  and 
without  further  dressing,  transported  to  the  smelt- 
ing-house.  In  spite  of  the  excessive  rudeness  of 
these  mechanical  processes,  and  the  loss  they  oc- 
casion, the  peasants  manage  to  get  rich  by  them. 
Vb'ros  Patak  is  said  to  abound  with  houses  loaded 
with  every  luxury  the  ignorant  Wallack  peasant 
can  think  of.  It  is  impossible  to  attribute  this 
to  any  ocher  cause  than  the  stimulus  which  inter- 
est excites  and  the  discoveries  which  the  number 
of  minds  directed  to  one  object,  and  so  stimulated, 
are  constantly  producing.  Of  course,  in  these  cir- 
cumstances a  vast  amount  of  inquisitive  research 
and  speculative  energy  is  necessarily  called  into 
action  ;  and  although  those  who  employ  it  are  very 
ignorant  and  very  poor,  and  not  very  industrious, 
they  can  make  a  profit  where  scientific  knowledge, 

300  "  ROADS   PAVED   WITH    GOLD." 

unlimited  capital,  and  well-directed  division  of  la- 
bour, confess  themselves  unable  to  compete  with 
advantage.  This  is,  perhaps,  one  of  the  strongest 
facts  in  favour  of  individual  energy  against  asso- 
ciated capital  and  its  concomitant  advantages,  of 
any  I  know. 

I  must  not  forget  that  in  passing  between  the 
two  Csetaties,  we  observed  a  peasant  carefully 
scraping  up  the  soil  from  the  little  path  we  fol- 
lowed,* and  depositing  it  in  a  basket  beside  him, 
much  in  the  same  way  as  we  see  the  children  col- 
lect manure  on  our  high  roads,- — but  with  this  dif- 
ference, that  the  Transylvanian  obtained  gold  ready 
made  to  his  hand,  while  our  own  countrymen  only 
acquire  a  means  of  aiding  industry  in  its  acquisition. 
I  dare  say  everybody  has  heard  of  streets  paved  with 
gold  ;  but  I  must  confess  I  had  always  believed  it 
a  romance ;  here,  however,  it  was  a  serious  reality. 
In  fact,  the  road  was  formed  of  stones  from  the 
nearest  rock,  which  we  already  know  contains  gold, 
and  as  it  had  been  raining  during  the  night,  it  was 
no  wonder  that  the  water  should  have  washed  away 
the  lighter  particles  which  had  been  crushed  to  dust 
under  the  feet  of  the  passers,  and  left  the  heavier 
ore  glittering  in  the  sun  behind. 

After  we  had  satisfied  ourselves  with  admiration 
at  the  extraordinary  phenomena  of  the  Csetatie, 
and  listened  to  the  clattering  of  the  five  hundred 
mills  of  Voros  Patak,  we  again  took  to  our  horses 

*  Pliny  describes  nearly  the  same  scene  in  his  day. 

THE    RICH   MINER.  301 

and  pursued  a  hilly  road,  which  was  to  lead  us  to 
the  basaltic  mountain.  Our  route  lay  over  the 
same  kind  of  green  mountains  we  had  seen  the 
whole  of  the  day,  and  was  only  varied  by  our  stum- 
bling every  now  and  then  on  some  strange  little 
mining  settlement  which  had  buried  itself  in  a  hid- 
den nook,  or  perched  itself  on  a  mountain  top,  as 
the  object  of  its  search  might  have  dictated.  We 
met  a  fat  and  jolly-looking  Wallack  peasant  in  the 
course  of  the  morning,  whom  our  guide  pointed  out 
to  us  as  possessing  more  gold  than  any  count  or 
baron  in  the  country.  He  was  riding  beside  a 
waggon  drawn  by  bullocks,  in  which  sat  his  servant 
dressed  just  like  himself.  The  guide  could  give  us 
no  idea  of  the  amount  of  his  wealth,  which  he  said 
was  so  much  that  the  man  could  not  count  it  him- 
self. The  only  approximation  to  a  fixed  sum  we 
could  obtain,  was,  that  he  received  a  whole  wag- 
gon-load of  ducats  from  the  Karlsburg  mint  every 
two  months,  in  return  for  the  gold  he  sent  there. 
Whatever  may  be  the  troubles  riches  bring  in  their 
train,  they  certainly  had  not  as  yet  affected  our 
Wallack,  for  he  was  one  of  the  merriest-looking 
peasants  I  ever  saw. 

After  about  a  two  hours'  ride  we  emerged  from  a 
wood  of  dark  pines,  and  found  ourselves  in  presence 
of  the  Detonata  (thunderbolt),  a  basaltic  rock  of 
about  two  hundred  feet  in  height,  crowning  the  top 
of  a  mountain  ;  and  though  exceedingly  curious,  far 
less  wonderful  than  we  had  been  led  to  expect,  or 



than  those  who  had  never  seen  anything  of  the  kind 
before  believed  it  to  be.  It  is  composed  of  co- 
lumns, some  of  which  are  nearly  perpendicular  and 
others  horizontal.  I  observed  no  less  than  five 
different  inclinations  in  these  pillars.  They  are 
most  irregularly  formed  and  much  smaller  than 
those  of  Fingal's  Cave,  indeed,  they  can  bear  no 
comparison  with  the  latter.  Some  of  these  columns 
have  a  slanting  direction,  and  have  been  fancied 
by  the  peasants  to  have  some  resemblance  to  a 
fiddle,  whence  it  is  also  called  the  Black  Stone 
Fiddle  (Piatra  Csityera  Nyagra).  The  name  Deto- 


nata,  by  which  it  is  commonly  known,  is  not  un- 
interesting, as  it  is  accompanied  by  the  belief  that 
this  rock  has  been  produced  by  some  sudden  con- 
vulsion attended  with  the  noise  of  thunder.  It 
must  be  remembered  that  this  tradition  is  found 
among  the  Dacians,  the  oldest  inhabitants  of  the 
country  ;  and  if  it  can  be  supposed  to  have  its 
foundation  in  fact,  I  believe  it  would  be  the  only 
instance  in  which  we  have  any  evidence  of  the 
production  of  a  columnar  basaltic  rock,  since  this 
globe  has  been  inhabited  by  man. 

While  we  were  climbing  the  back  of  these  rocks, 
and  Miklos  was  spreading  out  the  contents  of  our 
prog  basket  under  the  shade  of  the  pines,  the  guide 
had  disappeard  in  search  of  a  frozen  spring  near 
the  base  of  the  mountain,  in  hopes  of  procuring 
some  ice  to  cool  our  wine.  He  returned,  however, 
empty-handed,  for  it  had  formed  so  compact  a 
mass  that  he  could  not  detach  any  of  it  without  a 
hatchet.  Our  ride,  however,  had  furnished  us  with 
a  good  apology  for  such  luxuries,  and  stretched  out 
on  a  soft  bed  of  moss,  we  managed  to  do  credit  to 
our  meal  even  without  iced  wine.  It  was  already 
four  o'clock  before  we  could  leave  the  Detonata, 
and  we  had  still  another  mine  to  visit  and  a  long 
journey  before  us  ere  we  could  reach  Zelathna. 
Our  horses  were  refreshed,  however,  by  their  food 
and  rest,  and  we  again  mounted  and  pushed  on. 

There  was  nothing  very  remarkable  in  the  mine 
we  visited.  It  belonged  to  a  private  company,  who 


were  just  erecting  one  of  those  curious  water  en- 
gines which  are  peculiar  I  believe  to  Hungary.  It 
consisted  of  a  cylinder  and  piston,  much  like  that 
of  a  steam-engine,  but  instead  of  the  piston  being 
moved  by  the  expansive  power  of  steam,  it  is  pressed 
down  by  the  weight  of  a  vertical  column  of  water 
which  passes  out  at  the  bottom,  where  another 
stream  is  admitted  which  forces  the  piston  up  again. 
Its  great  advantage  is  in  the  vast  power  obtained 
by  it  from  a  very  small  quantity  of  water.  Of 
course  it  can  only  be  used  where  the  fall  is  great. 
There  were  three  hundred  men  employed  in  this 
mine.  I  have  been  told  by  the  chief  proprietor 
that  the  pay  of  the  Hauer  (cutter), — the  lowest 
order  of  workmen,  answering  to  our  tut  workers, — 
who  is  paid  by  the  piece,  amounts  to  about  six 
or  eight  florins,  c.  m.  (twelve  or  sixteen  shillings) 
per  month.  They  rarely  work  more  than  four  or 
five  days  per  week,  and  never  more  than  eight 
hours  per  day.  The  Sprenger  (blaster),  and  Hut- 
leute  (smelters),  have  fixed  wages,  varying  from 
ten  to  twenty  florins,  c.  m.  (twenty  to  forty  shil- 
lings) per  month.  My  informant  adds,  "  the  double 
of  this  amount  would  not  be  too  much  if  the  steal- 
ing could  be  prevented  ;  but  as  things  exist  at 
present,  that  is  impossible." 

After  a  six  hours1  ride  through  woods  and  over 
mountains,  at  first  illuminated  by  all  the  brilliancy  of 
an  autumn  sunset,  and  then  varied  by  the  cold  tints 
of  the  pale  moon,  we  at  last  arrived  at  Zalathna; 


and  having  given  orders  for  an  early  start  to- 
morrow, lay  down  to  dream  of  gold  mines  and 
golden  pavements,  and  waggon -loads  of  ducats,  and 
I  know  not  what  beside. 

Before  I  leave  this  curious  district,  however,  and 
with  it  all  further  reference  to  mining  matters, 
let  me  say  a  few  words  on  the  gold-washing,  and 
gold- washers  of  Transylvania. 

In  some  parts  of  Hungary,  and  in  almost  every 
part  of  Transylvania,  but  especially  in  that  through 
which  our  wanderings  have  lately  conducted  us, 
a  large  quantity  of  gold  is  annually  procured  from 
the  sand  deposited  by  the  rivers  and  brooks- 
There  is  scarcely  a  single  river  in  Transylvania  of 
which  the  sands  do  not  contain  more  or  less  gold, 
but  the  most  celebrated  are  the  Aranyos  (golden), 
the  Maros,  the  Strigy,  the  Koros,  and  the  Szamos. 
The  gold  is  commonly  found  in  the  upper  part 
of  these  streams,  before  the  sand  becomes  mixed 
with  mud  from  the  richer  lands  of  the  valleys. 
There  can  be  no  doubt  that  the  gold  is  derived 
from  the  decomposition  of  metalliferous  rocks,  from 
the  attrition  of  detached  masses,  and  sometimes, 
though  more  rarely,  from  the  breaking  up  of  a  vein 
of  ore  itself,  by  means  of  running  water.  As  it  is 
mixed  in  very  small  quantities  with  other  debris,  it 
becomes  only  worth  the  search  where  it  has  been 
collected  by  the  operation  of  natural  causes  in  a 
greater  proportionate  quantity  than  that  in  which 
it  originally  existed — in  short,  only  when  nature 

VOL.  II.  X 


has  dressed  and  washed  it.  This  occurs  after  a 
flood,  at  the  elbows,  or  bends  of  rivers,  where 
the  water,  surcharged  with  broken  matter,  which 
its  unusual  force  has  enabled  it  to  bring  down, 
flows  slower  and  deposits  the  heavier  particles, 
carrying  the  lighter  further  on.  In  such  spots  the 
gold-washers  collect  when  the  flood  has  abated ; 
and  taking  up  the  sand  in  wooden  shovels  or  scoops, 
they  move  it  about  in  a  small  quantity  of  water  till 
all  but  the  metalliferous  particles  are  washed  away. 

The  gold  occurs  in  various  forms,  from  the  most 
complete  dust  to  pieces  of  the  size  of  a  pigeon's 
egg,  though  I  need  scarcely  say  the  former  is  by 
far  the  most  common.  I  believe  the  greater  part 
of  the  gold  obtained  by  the  gold- washers  is  nearly 
pure,  indeed,  I  am  not  aware  that  they  attempt 
to  gather  it  when  mixed  with  other  matter.  I 
have  no  means  of  ascertaining  the  amount  of  gold 
washed  in  Transylvania.  In  the  Banat  I  have 
seen  it  stated,  that  from  1813  to  1818,  the  pro- 
ceeds amounted  to  two  thousand  one  hundred  and 
thirty-eight  ducats. 

This  branch  of  industry  is  almost  entirely  in  the 
hands  of  the  gipsies.  The  Government  grants  a 
gipsy  band  the  privilege  of  washing  the  sands  of 
a  certain  brook,  on  condition  of  their  paying  a 
yearly  rent,  which  is  never  less  than  three  ducats 
in  pure  gold  per  head  for  every  washer.  A  gipsy 
judge,  or  captain,  settles  this  matter  with  the 
Government,  and  is  answerable  for  the  rest  of 


the  tribe  from  whom  he  collects  the  whole  of 
their  earnings,  and,  after  paying  the  tribute,  re- 
divides  it. 

In  returning  to  Klausenburg,  we  remained  some- 
time at  Nagy  Enyed,  where  there  is  a  large  Pro- 
testant college,  to  visit  Professor  Szasz,  one  of  the 
most  distinguised  men  in  Transylvania,  both  in  a 
literary  and  political  point  of  view.  Elected  by 
the  citizens  of  Enyed,  to  represent  them  at  the  Diet, 
Professor  Szasz,  in  spite  of  the  prejudice  felt  by  the 
aristocracy  at  this  intrusion  of  a  literary  parvenu 
within  their  circle,  gained  so  great  a  power  by  the 
accuracy  and  extent  of  his  knowledge,  so  great  an 
influence  by  the  simplicity  and  uprightness  of  his 
character,  and  so  willing  an  auditory  from  the 
brilliancy  of  his  eloquence  and  the  logical  correct- 
ness of  his  arguments,  that  he  soon  became  one 
of  the  most  important  leaders  of  the  moderate 
opposition.  Moderate  as  he  was,  however,  Professor 
Szasz  has  not  escaped  the  anger  of  the  Govern- 
ment ;  and  he,  too,  is  under  trial,  on  some  trumpery 
charges,  evidently  got  up  purely  to  annoy  and  in- 
timidate him.  We  found  the  Professor  at  his  books 
in  a  braided  military-looking  coat,  and  sporting  a 
pair  of  very  imposing  mustaches.  His  dress,  how- 
ever, was  only  the  academical  costume  of  Enyed, 
where  both  students  and  professors  wear  the  na- 
tional uniform.  As  for  the  mustaches,  of  late  years 
all  but  the  clergy  have  worn  them ;  and  I  should 
not  be  surprised  if  they  did  so  too  before  long. 

x  2 


After  some  conversation,  in  which  the  Professor 
explained  to  us  the  history  and  present  state  of 
the  college  of  Enyed,  he  kindly  offered  to  show  us 
over  it. 

It  appears  to  have  been  originally  founded  at 
Karlsburg,  by  Bethlen  Gabor,  for  the  education  of 
the  members  of  the  Reformed  Church,  and  to  have 
been  endowed  by  him  with  very  considerable  estates. 
It  was  afterwards  removed  to  Enyed,  on  the  destruc- 
tion of  Karlsburg,  by  Apafy.  During  a  period  of 
temporary  distress — I  forget  the  exact  time — when 
the  college  was  in  danger  of  perishing  from  the 
want  of  funds,  a  deputation  was  sent  over  by  the 
Protestants  of  Transylvania,  to  request  pecuniary 
aid  from  their  brethren  in  England.  The  call  was 
generously  answered,  and  a  fund  was  formed,  which 
is  still  deposited  in  the  Bank  of  England,  and  from 
which  the  college  of  Enyed  receives  an  annual  re- 
venue of  1,000/.  It  is  wonderful  what  a  feeling  of 
friendship,  what  a  sentiment  of  brotherhood  with 
England,  this  gift,  though  now  completely  forgotten 
among  us,  still  maintains  among  the  Transylvanian 
Protestants.  The  revenue  derived  from  this  source 
has  been  expended  for  some  years  past  on  the  erec- 
tion of  a  range  of  new  buildings  for  the  residence  of 
the  students,  which,  when  finished,  will  make  a  very 
respectable  appearance. 

There  are  in  all  about  one  thousand  students, 
of  whom  three  hundred  are  Togati,  or  DcaTc;  the 
rest,  mere  children.  The  course  of  study  is  divided 


into  three  periods.  The  first  is  so  arranged,  that 
at  the  end  of  it  those  who  are  intended  for  the 
smaller  trades  shall  have  acquired  a  sufficient  edu- 
cation to  fit  them  for  their  avocations,  while  it  has 
served  also  as  a  foundation  for  a  more  extended 
course  of  education  to  the  others.  It  includes  re- 
ligion, writing,  arithmetic,  book-keeping,  geography, 
a  little  history,  particularly  that  of  their  own  coun- 
try, with  some  notices  of  natural  history,  drawing, 
and  singing. 

The  next  division  includes  three  more  years,  and 
is  dedicated,  in  addition  to  a  further  developement 
of  the  preceding  subjects,  to  Latin,  Greek,  and 
German;  mathematics,  belles  lettres,  rhetoric,  and 

After  these  six  years'  preliminary  study,  the 
scholar  becomes  a  Deak,  and  enters  on  what  may 
be  called  a  regular  academical  course,  which  lasts 
six  years  more.  He  has  now,  too,  the  privilege  of 
becoming  a  tutor  to  the  younger  scholars.  The 
first  four  years  he  must  study  mathematics,  physics, 
chemistry,  natural  history,  metaphysics,  logic,  aesthe- 
tics, natural  law,  ethics,  physiology,  history,  laws 
and  constitution  of  Transylvania,  with  its  statistics, 
politics,  &c.  &c.  The  last  two  years,  the  student 
is  allowed  to  choose  his  own  course  of  study,  —  I 
presume,  to  enable  him  to  perfect  himself  in  any 
speciality  to  which  he  may  choose  to  dedicate  him- 
self. It  is  during  this  period,  that  the  divinity 
students  take  their  Hebrew  and  theology  courses. 


To  teach  all  this  knowledge,  there  are  only  eight 
professors,  none  of  whom  have  more  than  50/.  a 
year.  I  need  scarcely  say,  that  there  must  be 
much  that  is  very  superficial,  and,  therefore, 
nearly  useless,  in  a  course  of  so  much  pretension, 
when  the  means  are  so  slight  for  rendering  it 

Several  students  commonly  live  in  the  same 
room.  In  the  junior  classes,  they  pay  some  very 
small  sum,  I  think  a  fee  of  four-shillings,  on  en- 
tering a  new  class;  in  the  higher,  the  instruction 
is  not  only  gratis,  but  they  even  receive  assistance 
from  the  funds  of  the  college.* 

Professor  Szasz  introduced  us  to  one  of  his  col- 
leagues, Professor  Herepei,  who  enjoys  the  highest 
reputation  for  pulpit  eloquence  of  any  clergyman  of 
the  Reformed  Church  in  Transylvania.  We  had 
proposed  to  visit  the  library  and  museum,  but  the 
curator  was  out  of  the  way,  and  the  key  nowhere 
to  be  found.  Neither  the  one  nor  the  other  is 
said  to  be  in  a  very  flourishing  condition.  The 
students  and  professors  come  together  here  much 
more  than  with  us.  They  have  a  club,  or  casino, 
in  the  town,  where  they  meet,  and  smoke,  and 
read  the  journals  together,  without  stiffness  or 

*  Besides  Enyed,  the  Reformed  Church  in  Transylvania  has 
colleges  in  Klausenburg,  Maros  V£sarhely  and  Udvarhely,  and 
Gymnasia  in  Zilah,  Szaszvaros,  Decs,  Kezdi  Vasarhely,  Thorda, 
and  Salzburg. 


For  general  education,  I  believe  Enyed  stands 
higher  than  any  other  college  in  Transylvania.  Its 
pupils  are  commonly  supposed  to  receive  a  strong- 
bias  towards  Liberalism  during  their  academical 
residence.  It  is  on  this  account,  that  Government 
has  been  making  some  attempts  to  interfere  with 
the  system  of  education  among  the  Protestants ; 
but  it  has  been  resisted  as  illegal  by  the  Consistory, 
and,  I  believe,  with  success. 




The  Szeklers — their  ancient  Rights  and  modern  Position. — The 
Mezoseg.  —  Maros  Vasarhely.  —  Chancellor  Teleki  and  his 
Library.  —  A  Szekler  Inn.  —  The  Szekler  Character.  —  Salt 
Rocks  at  Szovata. — The  Cholera  and  the  spare  Bed.— 
Miseria  cum  aceto. — Glories  of  Grock. — Salt-Mines  of  Parayd. 

—  Udvarhely.  —  St.   Pal.  —  Excursion  to  Almas.  —  Supersti- 
tion. —  The  Cavern.  —  Sepsi  St.  Gyorgy.  —  Kesdi  Vasarhely. 

—  The   French  Brewer.  —  The    Szekler   Schools.  —  Szekler 
Hospitality. —The  Budos.— The  Harom-Szek. 

WHEN  next  we  left  Klausenburg,  it  was  to  visit 
the  east  and  south  of  Transylvania,  two  districts 
inhabited  by  different  nations  and  governed  by  dif- 
ferent laws  from  those  in  which  we  had  hitherto 

I  have  already  said  that  the  Szeklers  were  found 
by  the  Magyars  in  the  country  which  they  now  oc- 
cupy on  their  first  entrance,  and  on  account  of  simi- 
larity of  language  and  origin,  were  granted  favours 
refused  to  the  original  inhabitants  of  the  country. 
They  were  allowed  the  full  enjoyment  of  their  free- 
dom on  condition  of  defending  the  eastern  frontier. 

Even  from  this  early  period  the  Szeklers  claim  to 


have  been  all  equal,  all  free,  all  noble ;  a  privileged 
class  and  a  servile  class  were  alike  unknown — the 
only  difference  among  the  richer  of  them  being  de- 
rived from  the  number  of  men  each  could  bring  into 
the  field, — among  the  poorer,  from  the  circumstance 
of  their  serving  on  horseback  or  on  foot.    Changes, 
however,  have  crept  in  amongst  them  in  the  lapse 
of  so  many  centuries.     The  richer  and  more  power- 
ful have  gradually  introduced  on  their  own  estates 
the  system  in  operation  in  the  rest  of  Transylvania, 
and  the  peasant  and  the  seigneur  are  now  found  in 
the  Szekler-land  as  elsewhere.     Titles  too,  and  let- 
ters of  nobility  have  been  freely  scattered  through 
the  country,  and  have  gradually  cast  a  slur  on  those 
who   possess   them    not.       Taxation    also,    and  the 
forcible  introduction  of  the  border  system,  instead 
of  the  desultory  service  of  former  times,  have  made 
great  changes  in  the  position  of  the  Szeklers.     As 
almost  all  these  changes,  however,  have  been  intro- 
duced without  the  consent  of  the  people,  and  often 
by  the  employment  of  open  force,  they  are  still  re- 
garded as  illegal  by  the  Szeklers,   who  are  conse- 
quently among  the  most  discontented  of  any  portion 
of  the  Transylvanians.     It  would  be  absurd  in  me 
to   enter  further   into  the   question   of  their   laws 
and  institutions,  for  even  the  most  learned  among 
themselves,  confess  that  there  is  so  much  confusion 
in  them,  that   even  they  cannot  make   them  out. 
This  I  know,    that   every    Szekler   claims  to  be  a 
noble  born,  and  declares  that  if  he  had  his  right 

314  THE    SZEKLERS. 

he  should  neither  pay  taxes  nor  serve  but  when 
an  insurrection  of  the  whole  nobility  of  the  country 
took  place.  I  know  also  that,  in  fact,  there  are 
among  them  Counts  and  Barons  who  call  them- 
selves magnates,  nobles  by  letters  patent,  and  free 
Szeklers  without  letters,  besides  borderers  and  pea- 
sants, and  that  the  free  Szeklers  and  nobles,  who 
have  not  more  than  two  peasants,  pay  taxes,  just 
like  the  peasants,  though  in  other  respects  they 
have  rights  like  the  nobles. 

All  these  circumstances  were  not  known  to  us 
when  we  set  out  on  this  expedition.  Every  Hun- 
garian you  speak  to  is  sure  to  tell  you  that  the 
Szeklers  are  all  noble,  and  you  consequently  ex- 
pect to  find  a  whole  nation  with  equal  rights  and 
privileges,  among  which  freedom  from  seigneurial 
oppression,  and  from  government  taxation,  are  both 
alike  included.  This  was  the  opinion  we  were  led 
to  form,  and  of  course  our  curiosity  was  propor- 
tionately raised  to  observe  their  influence  on  the 
state  of  the  people.  It  was  only  when  we  saw,  how 
much  matters  seemed  to  be  managed  here  as  in 
other  parts  of  the  country,  that  we  got  to  the  real 
state  of  the  case,  and  discovered  that  though  the 
Szeklers  may  have  been  once  all  equal  and  noble, 
and  though  they  still  lay  claim  to  all  manner  of 
rights  and  privileges,  they  have  not  in  reality 
enjoyed  them,  for  I  know  not  how  many  centuries. 

Our  route  lay  through   one  of  the  most  curious 
parts    of  Transylvania,   the    Mezoseg.       This   is    a 

THE   MEZOSJta.  315 

district  of  considerable  extent,  characterized  by  the 
fertility  of  its  soil,  and  the  extreme  misery  of  its 
inhabitants.  The  people  are  mostly  Wallacks,  and 
appear  worse  clothed,  worse  lodged,  and  more  un- 
civilized than  the_mhabitants  ofjany  other  part  of 
the  country.  The  aspect  of  the  Mesoseg  is  not  less 
curious  than  the  state  of  its  population.  It  is  the 
only  hilly  country  I  ever  saw  without  a  single  point 
of  picturesque  beauty.  As  we  ascended  one  hill, 
and  descended  another,  during  a  long  day's  drive, 
the  self-same  prospect  of  brown  sun-burnt  pasture, 
unbroken  by  trees  or  water,  was  ever  before  us.  In 
so  untempting  a  land,  country-houses  are  extremely 
rare ;  indeed,  the  Mezos6g  seems  to  have  been  alto- 
gether a  forgotten  district,  both  by  nature  and  man. 
It  is  very  likely,  however,  to  make  itself  better 
known  before  long.  Its  extensive  pastures  begin 
to  acquire  a  value,  now  that  the  growth  of  Me- 
rino wool  has  been  introduced,  and  the  coal,  of 
which  traces  have  been  found  in  several  places, 
will  probably  produce  a  rich  reward  to  whomsoever 
shall  work  it  with  skill  and  prudence. 

We  reached  Maros  Vasarhely,  the  capital  of  the 
Szekler-land,  about  twelve  o'clock  on  the  second 
morning,  and  proceeded  at  once  to  call  on  Pro- 
fessor Dosa,  a  friend  of  Baron  W 's,  our  com- 
panion in  this  journey,  who  politely  offered  to 
show  us  the  town.  Although  there  is  nothing  very 
imposing  in  the  wide  streets  and  small  houses, 
of  which  Maros  Vasarhely  is  mostly  composed,  it 



is  rather  an  important  place,  and,  in  winter,  many 
of  the  gentry  in  the  neighbourhood  take  up  their 
residence  within    it.      Moreover,   both    Protestants 
and  Catholics   have    colleges  here ;    the  Protestant 
contains   eight  hundred,   the    Catholic    three   hun- 
dred scholars,  and  these  institutions  give  something 
of  a  literary  air  to  its  society.      Maros  Vasarhely 
is  also   the   seat  of  the  highest  legal    tribunal    in 
Transylvania,  the  Royal  table,  and  it  is  in  conse- 
quence the  great  law  school  of  the  country.    Almost 
all  the  young  nobles  who  desire  to  take  any  part  in 
public  business,  as  well  as  all  the  lawyers,  after  hav- 
ing finished  the  regular  course    of  study,  think  it 
necessary,  under  the  name  of  Juraten,  to  pass  a  year 
or  two  here  in  reading  law  and  attending  the  court. 
The  great  pride  of  the  town  is  the  fine  library  of 
the  Telekis,  founded  by  the  Chancellor  Teleki,  and 
left   to  his   family   on  the  condition    of  its    being 
always  open  to  the  public.    It  contains  about  eighty 
thousand  volumes,  which  are  placed  in  a  very  hand- 
some  building,    and  kept   in    excellent    order.     A 
reading-room    is    attached,  which    is    always    open, 
where   books   are   supplied    to    any    one    who   de- 
mands them.     There  are  funds  for  its  support,  and 
the  family  still  continue  to  add  to  it  as  far  as  they 
are  able.     It  is  most  rich  in  choice  editions  of  the 
Latin  and  Greek  classics.     These  works  were  the 
favourite    studies   of  the   Chancellor   himself,  who 
was  a  man  of  very  extensive  learning.     What  ren- 
ders this    the  more  remarkable  is,  the  fact  of  his 


laving  entirely  acquired  it  after  the  age  of  twenty, 
and  that  too,  during  the  little  leisure  afforded  him 
from  public  business.  Among  the  bibliographical 
curiosities  pointed  out  to  us,  was  an  illuminated 
Latin  Bible,  which  was  said  to  be  written  on  a 
vegetable  leaf.  The  substance  employed  was  cer- 
tainly not  papyrus  ;  I  should  have  taken  it  for  very 
fine  vellum.  There  was  also  a  MS.  copy  of  a  work 
by  Servetus,  which  we  were  told  was  unpublished, 
though,  on  turning  over  the  fly-leaf,  we  found  a  quo- 
tation from  an  edition  of  the  same  work  printed 
in  London.  There  was  a  beautiful  MS.  of  Tacitus 
from  the  library  of  Mathias  Corvinus,  and  splendidly 
bound,  as  indeed  the  whole  of  that  library  was. 

We  were  shown  the  Casino,  which  seems  a 
flourishing  and  well-conducted  establishment.  It 
numbers  two  hundred  members.  As  many  of  the 
students  are  too  poor  to  become  subscribers  to  it, 
and  as  it  is  the  wish  of  the  professors  to  give  as 
many  as  possible  an  opportunity  of  becoming  ac- 
quainted with  the  utility  and  conduct  of  such  in- 
stitutions, free  admissions  are  granted  to  six  of 
them  every  month,  and  such  as  choose  to  avail 
themselves  of  it,  take  it  in  rotation. 

In  showing  us  the  old  Gothic  church,  which  oc- 
cupies the  centre  of  the  former  fortress,  Professor 
Dosa  observed  that  it  was  very  nearly  being  de- 
stroyed during  the  reign  of  Maria  Theresa,  because 
the  Protestants  were  not  then  allowed  to  repair 
their  churches ;  and  it  was  not  till  Joseph  II.  broke 

318  A  SZEKLER   INN. 

down  the  force  of  the  bigots  that  the  Vasarhely 
Protestants  were  permitted  to  new  -  roof  their 

The  next  day  we  passed  through  a  hilly  and 
rather  pretty  country,  with  many  villages,  differing 
in  no  respect  from  hundreds  we  had  seen  elsewhere, 
till  we  arrived  at  St.  Gyorgy,  a  village  on  the 
Kis  Kiikiillo  —  the  small  Kokel,  —  a  river  we  have 
before  mentioned,  as  celebrated  for  its  wines.  We 
had  been  told  we  should  find  an  inn  here,  and  be 
able  to  bait  our  horses,  and  get  a  dinner  for  our- 
selves. It  was  true  enough,  an  inn  was  found, 
but  the  poor  landlady  declared  she  had  nothing  to 
give  us  but  dry  bread,  and  what  was  still  worse, 
she  had  not  any  corn  for  our  horses.  The  servants, 
nevertheless,  proceeded  to  take  the  horses  out  of 
the  carriages,  in  spite  of  this  bad  prospect,  and  on 
my  inquiring  what  was  the  use  of  stopping  at  a 
place  where  neither  man  nor  horse  could  find  his 
profit,  they  only  smiled,  and  said  they  would  try 
if  something  could  not  be  done.  At  one  end  of 
the  village  there  was  a  large  manor-house,  and 
the  coachman  at  once  made  for  that,  sure  there 
would  be  corn  there,  and  hoping  that  the  steward 
would  sell  them  what  they  wanted.  In  coming 
along  too,  Miklos  had  fixed  his  eyes  on  some  hens 
which  were  amusing  themselves  on  the  high  road, 
and  he  soon  returned  from  his  forage,  bringing  with 
him  both  the  hens  and  their  eggs.  Our  servants 
were  fortunately  good  cooks,  and  while  one  set  to 



work  to  compose  an  omelette,  the  other  produced 
an  egg  soup  and  a  couple  of  roast  fowls.  There 
is  certainly  nothing  like  having  a  servant  who 
knows  the  work  he  may  have  to  turn  his  hand 
to  :  I  wonder  how  a  well-behaved  English  valet 
would  have  got  us  out  of  our  difficulty  ! 

The  plan  we  had  laid  down  for  ourselves  in 
traversing  the  Szekler-land,  was  to  visit  some  salt- 
mines at  Szovata,  pass  through  Udvarhely,  to  an 
estate  of  our  friend's ;  from  thence,  make  an  ex- 
cursion to  visit  a  celebrated  cave  in  the  neighbour- 
hood, and  so  pass  on  into  the  Saxon-land,  visiting 
its  two  chief  towns,  Kronstadt  and  Hermanstadt, 
and  then  return  to  Klausenburg. 

In  pursuit  of  this  plan,  we  followed  the  little 
Kukiillo  nearly  to  its  source,  along  a  very  beau- 
tiful valley,  highly  cultivated,  and,  though  naturally 
far  from  rich,  bearing  good  crops.  The  Szeklers 
inhabit  a  mountainous  country,  and  are  conse- 
quently poor ;  but  it  was  easy  to  see  they  are  far 
more  industrious  than  any  of  the  Transylvanians 
we  had  before  visited.  From  all  I  heard  of  their 
character,  they  seem  a  good  deal  to  resemble  the 
Scotch.  The  same  pride  and  poverty,  the  same 
industry  and  enterprise,  and  if  they  are  not  belied, 
the  same  sharp  regard  to  their  own  interests.  They 
speak  a  dialect  of  the  Magyar,  which  differs  but 
slightly  from  that  used  in  other  parts  of  the  coun- 
try, except  in  the  peculiar  sing-song  intonation  in 
which  it  is  uttered.  Like  most  mountaineers,  they 

320  SZOVATA. 

are  but  little  distinguished  for  polished  and  refined 
manners;  even  the  wealthier  are  commonly  re- 
markable for  a  greater  rudeness  in  their  bearing 
than  is  seen  in  other  parts  of  the  country.  This 
is  more  than  made  up,  however,  by  a  greater 
degree  of  information,  and  by  a  firm  adherence 
to  their  political  principles.  Like  the  Scotch,  they 
seem  to  have  advanced  in  education  to  an  extra- 
ordinary degree,  so  that  there  are  few  villages 
without  their  schools,  few  of  the  humblest  Szeklers 
who  cannot  read  and  write.  They  are  of  various 
religions,  and  each  sect  is  said  to  be  strongly 
attached  to  its  own.*  The  Unitarians  are  in  greater 
proportion  here  than  in  any  other  part  of  the 
country ;  they  have  about  one  hundred  churches  in 
the  Szekler-land.  Excepting  the  Jews  and  Greeks, 
all  religions  enjoy  equal  rights. 

We  reached  Szovata  towards  evening,  and,  as 
there  was  no  possibility  of  lodging  there  for  the 
night,  we  made  the  best  haste  we  could  to  find  a 
guide,  and  see  what  was  to  be  seen  before  dark. 
This  was  no  such  easy  matter,  however;  the  cholera 
had  just  set  in,  and  its  first  victim  had  been  one 
of  the  chief  men  of  the  village.  His  funeral  had 
taken  place  the  day  we  arrived  ;  and  as  it  is  a  cus- 
tom of  the  Szeklers  to  get  especially  drunk  on  these 
occasions,  to  dissipate  their  grief,  we  found  nearly 
the  whole  village  as  glorious  in  liquor  as  their 

*  Among  the   Catholics   are   reckoned   the  members   of  the 
Armenian  Catholic,  and  Greek  Catholic  churches. 

SALT   ROCKS.  321 

friend  could  be  in  sanctity.  By  some  chance,  one 
sober  man  was  found  at  last,  and  we  followed  him 
beyond  the  village  in  the  direction  of  a  small  green 
hill,  which  we  could  perceive  at  some  distance. 
Judge  of  our  surprise,  as  we  drew  nearer,  to  see 
before  us  a  real  rock  of  salt !  Yes,  our  green  hill 
was  pure  rock  salt,  when  seen  near,  as  white  as 
snow,  but  covered  at  the  top  and  in  many  places 
on  the  sides  by  a  layer  of  clay,  on  which  grass  and 
trees  grew  abundantly.  Before  arriving  at  the  hill 
itself,  we  had  to  cross  a  little  brook  which  pre- 
sented a  most  curious  appearance,  —  its  banks,  and 
the  numerous  stones  which  stand  out  from  its  shal- 
low bed,  are  all  encrusted  with  crystals  of  salt,  and 
that,  too,  so  exactly  in  the  form  of  hoar  frost,  that, 
in  spite  of  the  warm  rays  of  an  autumn  sunset,  I 
could  scarce  persuade  myself  they  were  not  so  till 
I  had  tasted  them.  At  this  point,  a  guard,  armed 
with  a  musket,  met  us,  and  accompanied  us  as  long 

we  remained  near.  In  fact,  guards  surround  the 
whole  of  the  hill,  to  prevent  the  peasants  from 
stealing  the  salt.  This  salt-bed,  which  extends  to  a 
considerable  distance,  is  not  worked  for  salt  at  all ; 
what  is  required  for  its  immediate  neighbourhood, 
is  obtained  from  Parayd,  a  few  miles  off.  In  spite 
of  all  the  guards,  however,  stealing  goes  on  to  a 
considerable  extent ;  indeed,  one  of  the  first  ne- 
cessaries of  life,  so  costly  if  bought,  and  here  in 
such  abundance,  and  to  be  had  for  the  trouble  of 
picking  up,  must  offer  too  strong  a  temptation  for 

VOL.  ii.  Y 

322  SALT   ROCKS. 

the  poor  man  to  withstand.  Probably,  too,  the 
guards  themselves  are  the  greatest  robbers.  There 
seems  to  be  no  end  to  the  quantity  of  salt  in  this 
neighbourhood ;  in  many  places,  the  peasant  has 
only  to  scrape  away  the  dirt  of  his  cottage  floor 
to  obtain  salt  beneath  it.  It  is  said,  that  in  Tran- 
sylvania alone,  there  is  sufficient  salt  to  supply  all 
Europe  for  some  thousand  years  ! 

As  we  got  nearer,  we  found  the  herbage,  and 
the  crops  of  Indian  corn,  looking  as  well  on  the 
salt  rock  as  on  any  other  soil ;  nor  could  we  observe 
any  difference  in  the  plants  here  and  in  the  neigh- 
bourhood. We  examined  several  of  the  cliffs,  which 
were  very  beautiful.  In  some,  the  rain  has  formed 
channels  and  furrows,  which  again  have  given  rise 
to  pinnacles,  covered  with  bright  crystals  of  salt, 
something  like  Gothic  minarets  in  miniature.  On 
the  other  side,  we  were  told,  the  cliffs  are  much 
higher  and  finer;  but  it  was  at  least  three  miles 
round,  and  it  was  already  too  dark  to  allow  us  to 
undertake  the  journey.  We  made  a  stout  resolu- 
tion to  return  the  next  day,  and  get  a  sketch  of 
these  wonderful  cliffs,  but  it  turned  out  so  wet, 
that  it  was  impossible. 

When  we  got  back  to  the  village,  and  the  tipsy 
gentry  had  learned  our  friend's  name,  —  one  to 
which  all  Szekler-land  is  deeply  attached, —  it  was 
with  the  utmost  difficulty  we  could  get  away. 
The  dead  man's  house,  as  the  best  in  the  village, 
was  placed  at  our  disposal,  and  we  were  almost 


forced  to  accept  his  spare  bed  by  these  hospitable 

I  really  do  not  know  what  notion  the  inhabitants 
of  the  Szekler-land  mean  to  express  by  the  words, 
"  a  comfortable   inn ; "   but    I  am  quite  sure  it  is 
something  very   different   from  what    all  the   rest 
of  the  world  mean.     Twice,  to-day,  have  we  found 
ourselves   wofully  mistaken   in  our  calculations  in 
consequence; — this  morning,  we   found  a  comfort- 
able  inn   meant  an  empty   room,  and   nothing  to 
eat ;    to-night,   it    seemed    to   mean  no   room   and 
nothing  to  eat  either  !     Everybody  had  agreed,  that 
at   Parayd  we  should  be  splendidly  accommodated, 
and  so  we  declined  the  dead  man's  bed  and  pushed 
on   to   this   same   Parayd  with   the  greatest  confi- 
dence.    Alas  !  we  were  doomed  to  be  disappointed. 
There  was  only  one  spare  room,  and  a  little  closet ; 
and  no  sooner  had  we   alighted,  than  they  told  us 
the    room  was  taken,  and  nothing  but  the  closet 
could  we  have.     Seated  at  a  table,  in  one  corner, 
we   found  the   happy  occupant    of  the  room,  just 
finishing,   as  we  supposed,  his  supper,  with  bread 
and  ewe-milk  cheese.     After  the  first  salutations, 
the  stranger  who  turned  out  to  be  an  old  officer  of 
the  Szekler  Borderers,  politely  offered  us  the  larger 
room,  saying,  the  closet  would  be  sufficient  to  con- 
tain him  ;  but,  when  he  heard  us  ask  for  supper,  the 
old    gentleman   shook   his   head,   and    pointing    to 
the  cheese  and  bread,  and  a  bottle  of  pale    sour- 
looking  wine,  exclaimed,  despondingly,  miseria  cum 

T  2 


aceto  !  and  nothing  else  to  be  had  ! — So  much  for  a 
comfortable  inn  in  the  Szeklerland. 

I  am  afraid  that,  with  all  their  good  qualities,  the 
Szeklers  are  rather  behindhand  in  the  comforts — 
perhaps  they  call  them  superfluous  luxuries  —  of 
other  parts  of  Europe.  Even  in  their  own  houses, 
the  gentry  show  but  little  taste  for  comfort  or  clean- 
liness. In  many  cases,  this  may  be  attributable  to 
poverty — then  I  have  not  a  word  to  say ;  but  in 
others,  I  have  seen  an  admixture  of  tawdry  splen- 
dour with  squalid  neglect,  which  presented  a  con- 
trast highly  ridiculous.  We  avoided  private  houses 

as  much  as  possible,  for  W had  just  as  great  a 

dislike  as  we  had  to  ask  for  hospitality  from  those 
he  did  not  know;  and,  besides,  so  many  Szeklers 
speak  only  Magyar,  that  we  could  have  obtained 
little,  either  of  amusement  or  instruction,  from  the 
intercourse ;  but  we  were  sometimes  driven  to  it 
in  spite  of  ourselves,  and  I  will  mention  the  result 
of  one  such  instance.  We  were  introduced  into 
a  large  handsome  house,  where  the  drawing-room 
and  boudoir  were  filled  with  fashionable  modern 
furniture,  where  the  lady,  who  reigned  over  them, 
was  handsomely,  not  to  say  showily,  dressed,  and 
where  the  whole  establishment  manifested  a  pre- 
tension to  style,  rarely  seen  in  these  mountains. 
When  we  retired  to  our  bed-rooms,  however,  we 
got  a  little  behind  the  scenes,  and  found  the  play 
by  no  means  so  imposing.  Half-a-dozen  panes  in 
the  windows  were  broken  ;  the  furniture  was  of  the 


shabbiest  description;  the  floor  filthy  to  the  last 
degree ;  and,  as  for  the  beds,  it  was  too  evident 
to  admit  of  a  question  that  the  linen  on  them  had 

not  been  refreshed  for  many  a  good  day.      W 

was  so  excessively  disgusted,  and  so  angry  that  such 
a  circumstance  should  have  occurred  before  stran- 
gers, that  I  had  the  greatest  possible  difficulty  to 
prevent  him  ordering  out  the  carriages  arid  leaving 
the  house  immediately.  After  soothing  him  down, 
however,  to  a  reasonable  pitch,  he  contented  him- 
self with  directing  all  the  filthy  things  to  be  thrown 
out  of  the  room,  and  our  own  bed  linen,  to 
be  arranged  by  our  servants  in  their  place;  nor 
was  it  till  next  morning  that  we  could  make  him 
promise  to  leave  the  place  without  abusing  our  host 
for  his  negligent  hospitality.  But  to  return  to 

We  were  fortunately  persons  not  very  easily  dis- 
pirited ;  and  we  accordingly  devoured  the  black 
bread  and  turpentine  cheese — for  they  wrap  it  in 
the  bark  of  the  pine  to  give  it  a  turpentine  flavour 
—  with  excellent  appetite ;  and  it  having  entered 
into  Miklos's  prolific  brain,  that  the  common  spirit 
of  the  country,  if  mixed  with  sugar  and  hot  water, 
might  make  something  like  what  the  English  sailors 
had  taught  him  to  call  grock,  he  came  in  grinning 
at  this  happy  thought  with  a  large  jug  of  a  most 
well-smelling  liquid  compounded  on  these  princi- 
ples, which,  with  the  aid  of  our  Turkish  pipes,  made 
us  almost  think  our  Szekler  inn  was  comfortable. 


Iri  the  mean  time,  the  servants  had  transported 
the  greater  part  of  a  haystack  into  the  room,  and 
the  whole  floor  was  covered  over  with  a  thick  layer 
of  hay ;  our  carriage  cushions  and  our  bed-clothes 
were  disposed  in  the  best  fashion  to  serve  for  beds ; 
and  before  our  pipes  were  finished,  we  had  not  only 
the  consolation  of  having  supped,  but  had  the  pro- 
spect of  a  good  night's  rest  before  us.  Nothing  like 
good  temper,  good  health,  and  a  servant  that  knows 
how  to  make  grock ! 

The  next  morning  we  visited  some  of  the  salt- 
mines, which  contained  nothing  sufficiently  remark- 
able to  detain  us.  They  work  these  mines  only  in 
winter,  and  that  but  to  a  very  small  extent.  Those 
of  Maros  Ujvar,  on  the  banks  of  the  Maros,  are  so 
much  more  conveniently  situated  for  transporting 
the  salt,  that  these  are  only  used  to  supply  the  im- 
mediate neighbourhood.  This  salt-bed  is  said  to  be 
of  even  greater  extent  that  that  of  Szovata,  though 
it  generally  lies  deeper.  Instead  of  the  bright  white 
colour  we  had  observed  yesterday,  the  salt  was  here 
of  a  dark  green  hue.  Even  here,  where  the  whole 
soil  seems  to  be  salt,  we  were  assured  that  it  was 
often  smuggled  from  Moldavia,  and  sold  in  the 
interior  of  the  country. 

At  every  step  we  took,  the  cholera  now  met  us. 
One  of  our  horses  had  cast  a  shoe,  and  we  had  to 
wait  some  hours  before  we  could  get  it  replaced, 
for  the  blacksmith's  wife  was  just  taken  ill,  and  he 
could  not  be  prevailed  upon  to  leave  her  till  she 


felt  better.  Nor  were  these  the  worst  inconveni- 
ences ;  some  of  our  own  party  had  felt  far  from  well 
this  morning,  and  we  were  naturally  rendered  ex- 
ceedingly anxious  lest  the  ailment  should  turn  out 
to  be  cholera.  Though  no  believers  in  contagion, 
we  were  aware  that  whatever  were  the  causes  pro- 
ducing the  disease,  we  were  just  as  much  exposed 
to  them  as  the  inhabitants  of  the  country  could  be, 
and  besides,  the  very  idea  of  travelling  for  pleasure 
where  death  seemed  hovering  round  our  every  step 
was  so  painful  that  we  hastened  on  more  quickly 
than  we  otherwise  should  have  done  through  this 
beautiful  country.* 

At  Udvarhely,  one  of  the  principal  towns  of  the 
Szekler-land,  we  had  intended  to  remain  the 
next  night,  but  the  inn  was  so  very  miserable,  and 
the  whole  place  so  far  from  attractive,  that  we 
determined,  after  baiting  our  horses,  to  try  if  we 
could  not  reach  St.  Pal,  a  village  some  fifteen  miles 

further,  where  W had  a  house  and  small  estate. 

Not  that  Udvarhely  is  without  interest.  As  we 
descended  the  long  hill  at  the  foot  of  which  it  lies, 
its  three  large  churches  with  their  double  spires, 

*  To  those  who  believe  in  the  antiseptic  powers  of  cer- 
tain substances  and  their  utility  in  preventing  the  spread  of 
epidemic  diseases,  it  may  afford  matter  for  reflection,  that 
here,  where  everything,  from  the  corn  you  eat  to  the  water 
you  wash  in,  perhaps  the  very  air  you  breathe,  is  impregnated 
with  salt — one  of  the  strongest  antiseptics — the  cholera  raged 
with  as  much  violence  as  in  the  poisoned  alleys  of  a  great 


its  ruined  castle,  its  large  white  college  and  hand- 
some Town-house,  had  led  us  to  expect  great  things ; 
but  then  the  inn  with  its  dirty  room,  its  unglazed 
windows,  and  its  beds  of  dingy  hue,  put  us  out  of 
conceit  with  all  the  rest.  While  our  horses  were' 

baiting  W took  us  to  call  on  an  electioneering 

friend  of  his,  a  merry  little  radical  grocer,  one  of 
those  men  who  love  good  dinners  and  long  speeches 
— the  latter  his  own,  and  the  former  his  friends1. 
The  little  grocer  took  us  up  to  the  castle,  once 
one  of  the  strongest  places  in  the  land,  and  which 
had  often  been  sharply  contested  between  the  Im- 
perial and  Transylvanian  forces.  We  reached  St. 
Pal  somewhere  about  midnight,  and  though  the 
house  was  undergoing  repairs  and  was  inhabited 
only  by  some  workmen,  we  were  soon  furnished 
with  quarters  better  than  we  had  met  with  since 
we  had  left  Klausenburg. 

We  remained  a  couple  of  days  at  St.  Pal,  in  part 
that  W might  arrange  some  matters  of  busi- 
ness with  his  steward,  in  part  to  rest  our  horses. 
The  first  was  spent  in  snipe-shooting  in  a  salt  marsh 
just  below  the  village,  for  here,  too,  we  were  still  in 
the  country  of  salt.  Though  no  salt-bed  is  seen, 
the  brook,  the  springs,  the  marsh,  and  even  the 
herbage  are  all  strongly  impregnated  with  salt. 
We  were  obliged  to  send  some  miles  off  to  obtain 
fresh  water,  for  to  us  the  salt  water  was  intoler- 
able, though  from  habit  the  people  of  the  country 
drink  it  without  injury. 


For  the   next  day  we   had    engaged    the   little 
grocer  of  Udvarhely  to  show  us  a  cave  which  was  at 
some  distance,  and  he  accordingly  arrived  by  good 
time  in   the   morning  with   a   supply  of  his  own 
torches,  and  of  his  neighbours'  mountain  ponies,  to 
show  us  the  wonders  of  Almas.     As  it  was  some 
distance  from,  St.  Pal,  two  peasants  were  sent  off 
early  in  the  morning  with  a  waggon  and  provisions, 
and  we  followed  at  our  leisure,  a  goodly  cavalcade, 
consisting  of  the  grocer,  the  clergyman,  the  steward, 
our  three  selves  and  one  or  two  servants — the  latter 
attending  us    for   no    other  purpose   that    I   could 
divine,  save  to  fill  and   light  the  pipes.     Our  ride 
led  us  through  a  country  of  mountains  and  woods, 
sometimes,  though  rarely,  varied  by  a  well-cultivated 
valley  affording  subsistence  to   some  neighbouring 
village.     A  village,  Homarod  Almas,  through  which 
we  passed,  was  one  of  the  largest  and  most  flourish- 
ing we  had  met  with  in  Transylvania.     The  situ- 
ation  of  this   place    one  would   have   thought    as 
healthy  as  possible ;  the  country  round  it  was  fruit- 
ful and  lovely  as   a  garden,   the  inhabitants  were 
evidently  well  off,  and  the  houses  large  and  airy, 
yet  here  the  cholera  was  raging  more  fiercely  than 
in  any  other  place  we  had  yet  visited.     The  grave- 
yard seemed  to    have  been  fresh  ploughed  up,  so 
completely   was  it  covered  with  new-made  graves, 
and   several    were    standing     open    for    occupants 
already  prepared  to  fill  them. 

As  we  left  the  village,  we  saw  a  mark  of  super- 


stition  which  we  should  not  have  expected  where 
education  is  said  to  be  generally  diffused.  It  was  a 
small  piece  of  coarse  linen  cloth  cut  into  the  shape 
of  a  pair  of  trowsers,  and  suspended  over  the  middle 
of  the  road  by  a  string  attached  to  a  tree  on  either 
side.  The  peasants  believe  that  in  the  Cave  of 
Almas  which  we  were  about  to  visit,  two  fairies  are 
imprisoned  in  a  state  of  nudity,  and  that  they  weep 
and  wail  their  unhappy  captivity  without  being 
able  to  escape.  Their  cries  are  said  to  be  often 
heard,  when  the  wind  is  high,  proceeding  from  the 
dark  valley  of  the  Almas,  and  it  is  to  the  malice 
of  these  imprisoned  fairies  that  the  peasants  attri- 
bute the  visitation  of  the  cholera.  It  appears  that 
the  received  method  of  propitiating  these  gentry  is 
to  offer  them  clothing,  and  accordingly  the  trowsers 
at  this  end  of  the  village,  and  a  shirt  exhibited  in 
a  similar  manner  at  the  other,  were  intended  to 
appease  them,  let  them  come  which  road  they  would. 
This  was  all  I  could  learn  of  the  matter  from  the 
steward,  and  I  am  still  not  very  sure  that  it  is 
correct,  for  he  was  much  more  anxious  to  assure  me 
that  he  knew  it  was  all  nonsense  and  that  he  did 
not  believe  in  such  ignorant  superstitions,  than  to 
satisfy  my  curiosity  on  the  matter. 

On  a  green  hill  overlooking  a  deep  valley, — or 
rather  cleft  in  the  rocks,  for  it  is  much  deeper  than 
it  is  wide, — we  found  the  provision  waggon  already 
arrived,  a  large  fire  lighted,  and  preparations  for 
cooking  in  a  state  of  progress.  Here  we  were  to 



leave  our  horses  in  the  care  of  the  peasants.  Cling- 
ing to  the  trees  which  cover  its  sides,  we  reached  the 
bottom  of  the  valley,  which  is  occupied  by  a  brook : 
tins  brook  a  little  farther  on  is  seen  to  enter  an  open- 
ing in  the  base  of  a  cliff,  and  disappear.  It  is  said 
to  come  out  again  on  the  other  side,  at  some  miles' 
distance.  It,  was  a  beautiful  scene  we  had  now 
before  us;  the  high  steep  rocks  of  limestone,  the 
hanging  woods,  the  little  stream,  and  its  stony  bed, 


332  VALLEY   OF   ALMAS. 

were  all  striking,  and  the  addition  of  the  dark 
mouths  of  three  or  four  huge  caverns  gaping  at  us 
on  either  side,  gave  it  a  character  of  mysterious 
beauty  to  which  it  would  have  been  strange  had 
not  the  fancies  of  the  peasants  attached  a  legend. 
The  sorrows  of  the  poor  imprisoned  fairies  would 
easily  find  voices  here  when  the  winds  raged 
through  these  narrow  passages. 

Leaving  the  smaller  caverns,  which  we  were 
told  were  of  little  depth,  we  stumbled  along  the 
stony  path  to  the  further  end  of  the  valley.  On 
our  road  we  put  up  a  csdszdr  maddr  (gelinotte),  a 
kind  of  grouse,*  very  common  in  the  mountains 
of  Transylvania.  It  was  so  tame  that  it  did  not 
fly  more  than  a  few  yards,  and  continued  running 
on  at  a  short  distance  before  us,  apparently  without 
the  slightest  fear.  Man  is  still  almost  a  stranger 

The  mouth  of  the  great  cavern  is  at  a  considerable 
height  above  the  bottom  of  the  valley,  and  can  only 
be  reached  by  means  of  wooden  steps,  which  some 
former  visitors  have  had  made  for  the  purpose.  It 
is  half  closed  by  a  thick  wall,  now  partly  broken,  but 
which  has  evidently  been  built  as  a  defence  from 
enemies.  It  is  said  to  have  been  used  by  the 
Szeklers  as  a  retreat  during  the  insurrection  of 

*  The  black-cock  is  also  found  in  this  country,  and  I  suspect 
the  cock  of  the  woods  too ;  for  they  frequently  speak  of  a  wild 
peacock  (uad  pdva),  to  which  they  attribute  much  the  same 
habits  and  appearance  as  characterise  the  cock  of  the  woods. 

CAVERN    OF   ALMAS.  333 

the  Wallacks  under  Hora  and  Kloska,  but  Tran- 
sylvania has  known  so  many  periods  when  a  place 
of  refuge  was  required  for  the  peaceable   citizen, 
from  the  cruelty  of  savage  enemies  both  domestic 
and  foreign,  that  it  is  more   difficult  to  say  when 
it  may  not  have  been  so  used,  than  when  it  was. 
This  part  of  the  country,  from  its  frontier  position^ 
was  peculiarly  subject   to    foreign    incursions,   and 
when   they   were   made    by   such    nations   as   the 
Tartars  and  Turks, — they  first  murdered  all  they 
could  lay  hold  on,  and  the  second  spared  only  to 
drive   away  into    captivity,*  —  it   is    no    wonder   a 
retreat  of  this   kind   should  have  been  well   de- 
fended.    Even  our  friend's  house  at  St.  Pal,  though 
never  intended  as  a  place  of  defence,  bears  marks 
of  precaution  attributable  to  a  similar  cause.     The 
stables  are  constructed  below  the  house  itself,  and 
can  be  entered  by  a  secret  door  and  winding  stair- 
case, from  a  room  above,  so  that  if  the  house  was 
attacked  by  a  marauding  party  in  front,  the  family 
would  have  time  to  mount  their  horses  and  escape 
by  a  lower  room,  which  opens  into  the  fields  on  the 
other  side,  ere  the  oak  doors  and  well-stanchioned 

*  Bethlen  Gabor  obtained  his  election  to  the  throne  of  Tran- 
sylvania, with  the  aid  of  some  Turkish  troops ;  not  that  they 
were  required  to  fight,  but  their  presence  gave  confidence  to  the 
party  of  Bethlen,  and  enabled  them  to  depose  the  weak  Bathori 
Gabor  without  a  struggle.  Notwithstanding  the  peaceable  cha- 
racter of  the  expedition,  the  Turks  did  not  retire  with  less  than 
eighty  thousand  Transylvanian  prisoners,  of  whom  they  made 

334  CAVERN   OF   ALMAS. 

windows  in  the  front  were  forced  by  the  attack- 
ing party. 

The  entrance  to  the  cavern,  which  we  had  now 
gained,  is  a  vast  hall  covered  with  a  noble  arched 
roof,  and  opening  on  every  side  to  dark  passages, 
which  lead  into  the  interior  of  the  mountain. 
After  we  had  carefully  studied  a  plan  of  the 
cavern,  lighted  our  torches,  and  arranged  the  or- 
der of  the  procession,  the  little  grocer  of  Ud- 
varhely,  —  no  peasant  guide  could  be  found  to 
undertake  it,  —  put  himself  at  our  head  and  led 
the  way.  In  faith  it  was  no  easy  matter  to 
choose  the  right  road,  for  there  were  so  many 
openings,  and  it  was  so  very  easy  to  lose  the  direc- 
tion in  such  a  position,  that  it  required  all  the 
little  grocer's  memory  and  experience  to  keep  us 
from  straying.  By  the  road  we  took,  the  cavern 
seemed  to  penetrate  the  mountain  to  about  the  dis- 
tance of  an  English  mile,  sometimes  in  the  form 
of  large  chambers,  sometimes  of  narrow  passages, 
through  which  one  can  scarcely  creep.  Some  of 
these  chambers  are  high,  and  ornamented  with 
small  stalactites.  In  one  a  large  mass  of  rock  cor- 
rugated like  a  huge  wart,  hangs  from  the  roof  to 
within  a  yard  of  the  floor  without  touching  it. 
The  only  difficulty  we  experienced,  except  that 
of  finding  our  way,  was  in  passing  a  wet  bog — 
if  a  mass  of  soft  lime,  of  about  the  consistence  of 
mortar  can  be  so  called — which  extended  for  some 
twenty  yards'  distance. 

CAVERN   OF   ALMAS.  335 

At  the  very  end  of  the  cavern,  we  had  been  told 
there  was  a  vein  containing  precious  stones  in  great 
abundance,  and  it  was  therefore  with  no  small  dis- 
appointment we  found  nothing  but  a  mud-lined 
chamber,  from  which  there  was  no  exit  save  by  a 
small  hole,  which  it  seemed  impossible  for  any  of 
us  to  pass  through !  However,  the  little  grocer 
was  not  to  be  balked ;  he  declared  the  precious 
stones  must  be  on  the  other  side  the  hole,  and  he 
accordingly  laid  himself  down,  and  by  dint  of  work- 
ing away  something  like  a  worm  when  it  is  return- 
ing to  the  earth,  he  at  last  disappeared,  and  then 
assuring  us  that  he  had  come  to  the  precious  stones, 
he  made  all  of  us  so  eager  to  share  the  prize,  that 
we  too  squeezed  ourselves  through.  Here  we 
found  an  extraordinary  formation  enough.  A  slit 
in  the  rock,  of  about  a  yard  in  width,  had  been 
filled  up  by  a  quantity  of  very  fine  gravel,  composed 
for  the  most  part,  of  rounded  stones  of  about  the 
size  of  peas,  generally  highly  polished,  and  often 
of  considerable  beauty.  I  really  forget  now  all 
the  various  mineral  species  to  which  these  pebbles 
have  been  found  to  belong,  but  I  know  there  were 
upwards  of  a  dozen  of  the  secondary  precious  stones, 
among  which  were  jaspers,  cornelians,  and  agates. 
Geologically,  I  think,  the  age  of  this  vein  might 
probably  be  fixed  pretty  accurately.  That  its  con- 
tents have  been  deposited  by  running  water,  their 
nature  and  appearance  place  beyond  a  doubt,  and 
as  they  are  now  at  least  a  hundred  feet  above 


the  surface  of  the  valley,  it  must  have  been  be- 
fore the  valley  was  formed,  and  when  the  water 
rolled  over  the  upper  surface  of  the  mountain  a 
considerable  height  above.  The  gravel  is  now 
so  compact,  that  it  required  a  hammer  to  separate 
any  portions  of  it.  We  were  glad  to  leave  this 
part  of  the  cavern  as  quickly  as  we  could,  for  the 
air  became  so  confined,  that  it  was  scarcely  pos- 
sible to  breathe.  We  had  still  only  investigated 
one  part  of  this  cavern.  Another  of  nearly  equal 
extent  lay  above  this,  and  was  said  to  open  on 
the  other  side  of  the  mountain.  The  entrance, 
however,  could  only  be  reached  by  the  aid  of  a 
ladder,  and  as  our  curiosity  was  pretty  well  satis- 
fied we  returned  without  making  any  further  in- 

The  peasants  had  got  us  a  good  dinner  ready  by 
our  return,  and  we  were  all  well  inclined  to  do 
justice  to  their  cookery.  A  little  before  dark,  we 
again  mounted  our  rozinantes,  and  made  the  best  of 
our  way  back  to  St.  Pal. 

Our  next  point  was  Keszdi  Vasarhely,*  but 
though  it  lay  nearly  direct  east  of  St.  Pal,  we  were 
obliged  to  make  a  considerable  detour  to  the  south 
to  avoid  a  chain  of  mountains  which  lay  between 
the  two  places.  My  notes  of  this  day  contain  little 
worthy  of  remark,  save  that  we  could  get  nothing 
for  dinner  except  a  few  eggs;  and  that  at  night 

*  Vdsdr,  market ;  hely,  place ;  a  name  common  to  many  places 
in  this  part  of  Transylvania. 


we  were  obliged  to  sleep  on  tables  and  chairs, 
and  content  ourselves  with  a  supper  of  six  small 
trout,  which  the  landlord  went  out  and  caught  for 
the  occasion.  I  am  really  ashamed  to  refer  so 
constantly  to  the  subject  of  the  creature  comforts ; 
but  I  believe  it  is  best  to  do  so,  as  it  perhaps  gives 
the  reader  almost  as  good  an  idea  of  the  circum- 
stances of  the  country  we  were  travelling  through, 
as  a  more  elaborate  description  would  do.  What, 
for  instance,  could  strike  the  stranger  more  forcibly 
than  an  occurrence  which  took  place  the  very  next 
day  ?  Soon  after  we  had  started,  we  passed  through 
a  small  village,  at  which  we  had  no  intention  of 
stopping,  where  Miklos's  eye  fell  on  the  carcass  of 
a  fresh-slaughtered  calf,  hung  up  in  a  peasant's 
house.  Jumping  down,  he  at  once  made  off  to 
this  unaccustomed  sight,  and  did  not  return  till 
he  had  secured  a  good-looking  lump  of  veal,  as  a 
provision  against  dinner-time. 

Before  arriving  at  Foldvar, — the  place  of  the 
six  fishes, — we  felt  a  change  in  the  weather,  which 
obliged  us  to  have  recourse  to  our  furs.  The 
cause  of  it  was  sufficiently  explained  in  the  morn- 
ing. Though  we  were  only  in  the  middle  of  Sep 
tember,  a  considerable  fall  of  snow  had  taken  place 
in  the  mountains,  and  their  white  peaks  now  glit- 
tering in  the  sun,  contrasted  strongly  with  the 
yellow  corn-fields  and  green  meadows  in  the  fore- 
ground of  the  picture. 

At   Sepsi  St.  Gyb'rgy,  where  we  stopped  before 

VOL.  II.  Z 

338  SEPSI    ST.  GYORGY. 

mid-day  to  get  the  above-mentioned  lump  of  veal 
converted  into  an  eatable  form,  we  found,  instead 
of  the  rude  villages  we  had  hitherto  seen,  a  smart 
little  town  with  handsome  houses,  and  large  public 
buildings,  apparently  very  foreign  to  the  position 
in  which  they  existed.  Sepsi  St.  Gyorgy,  however, 
is  the  head-quarters  of  the  Szekler  border  Hussars, 
and,  consequently,  the  residence  of  the  staff.  One 
of  the  large  buildings  is  dedicated  to  the  educa- 
tion of  the  children  of  the  Hussars,  and  is  said 
to  be  one  of  the  most  flourishing  schools  in  the 

Before  evening,  we  got  on  to  Keszdi  Vasarhely ; 
and  though  we  were  told  there  was  no  inn,  we 
found  very  good  quarters  in  the  house  of  a  French 
brewer,  who  had  married  an  Hungarian  wife,  and 
set  up  his  tent  here  for  life.  He  was  a  good- 
tempered  little  fellow;  seemed  delighted  to  re- 
ceive us  into  his  house,  and  promised  us  a  sup- 
per which  should  amply  compensate  for  our  late 
fastings.  Of  course  he  took  us  over  his  whole 
premises  of  which  he  was  very  proud,  as  indeed 
he  had  good  reason  to  be,  for  his  brewhouse,  and 
all  its  apparatus,  though  on  a  small  scale,  were 
in  excellent  order.  He  complains  sadly  of  his 
neighbours  doing  all  they  can  to  injure  him,  from 
jealousy  of  his  foreign  extraction ;  and  I  can 
readily  believe  him,  for  it  is  a  theory  of  all 
Hungarians,  that  every  farthing  gained  in  Hun- 
gary by  a  stranger,  is  robbed  from  her  own  children. 


The  high  price  of  hops  is  another  of  the  poor 
Frenchman's  grievances.  He  is  obliged  to  get 
them  all  the  way  from  Bohemia;  and  even  then 
they  are  not  too  good.  However,  notwithstand- 
ing his  grumbling,  I  suspect  our  little  friend 
manages  to  prosper. 

We   had   still  time  to  visit   the  military  school 
for  the  education  of  the   children   of  the  Szekler 
infantry.      The    institution    was    founded    by   the 
late  Emperor,  and  is  supported   partly  by  a  royal 
grant,  and  partly  by  the  Szeklers  themselves.     The 
regulation   of  it   is    entirely  in  the   hands  of  Go- 
vernment.      On    the    foundation,    there    are    one 
hundred  boys,  from  six  to  eighteen  years  of  age, 
who  are   fed,  clothed,  and  taught  free  of  all  ex- 
pense.    As   these    do    not    occupy    all    the    room 
which   exists,    a    few   additional    scholars    are    ad- 
mitted   on   the    payment    of   about    sixteen    shil- 
lings per   month   for   the   enjoyment  of  the  same 
advantages    as    the    others.     The    children,    when 
they   have    finished    their   education,    are    drafted 
into  the  infantry,  and  often  rise   to    the   rank    of 
officers.     The   course   of  education    includes    writ- 
ing, reading,    arithmetic,    geography,   mathematics, 
military   drawing,  and   the  German    language,   be- 
sides all  the  drilling  and  exercising,  which  belong 
to  military  training.     We  saw  specimens  of  their 
writing  and   drawing,  and  I   must  say  they  were 
very  creditable.     They  have  a  small  library,  mostly 
composed    of  amusing   books   for    children,  which 



are  lent  out  to  the  scholars,  and  they  seem  well 
selected  for  the  purpose  of  giving  them  a  taste 
for  reading. 

It  is  unfortunate  that  here,  too,  in  an  institution 
apparently  so  good,  cause  for  complaint  and  mistrust 
against  Government  should  exist.  The  Szeklers  say 
the  whole  object  of  the  school  is  to  denationalize 
their  children,  and  make  them  forget  their  native 
tongue.  In  fact,  all  the  lessons  are  given  in  Ger- 
man, all  the  books  are  German,  and  the  children  are 
even  obliged  to  speak  German  to  each  other.  The 
national  language  is  never  heard  within  the  walls  of 
the  national  school.  It  is  certain  the  poor  Szeklers 
think  themselves  very  ill-treated  by  the  Govern- 
ment. Though  submitting  now  pretty  quietly  to 
the  Border  service,  they  object  very  strongly  to 
some  of  the  innovations  it  has  brought  with  it. 
Many  of  the  officers  in  the  Border  regiments  are 
Germans,  and  of  course  can  have  no  claim  to  the 
rights  of  Szekler  nobility,  yet  Government  has 
within  these  last  few  months  claimed  for  them  the 
right  to  appear  and  vote  at  the  county-meetings; 
and  very  bitter  is  the  feeling  excited  among  the 
Szeklers  in  consequence. 

In  the  mountains  somewhere  in  this  neighbour- 
hood, we  heard  there  was  an  extraordinary  cave, 
of  which  we  had  been  told  some  rather  marvellous 
stories.  We  made  all  the  inquiries  we  could  at 
Keszdi  Vasarhely,  but  nobody  could  inform  us 
either  of  the  exact  distance,  or  of  the  best  means 

TORJA.  341 

of  getting  there.  All  agreed,  however,  that  we 
must  pass  through  Torja,  a  village  which  we  could 
perceive  just  at  the  foot  of  the  mountains,  some  ten 
miles  off,  where,  in  all  probability,  we  should  find 
some  one  who  could  tell  us  more  about  the  matter. 
On  this  chance  we  started ;  but  fortunately,  before 

we  reached  the  place,  W recollected  that  Torja 

was  the  name  of  the  residence  of  an  old  Szekler 
friend  of  his,  and  it  occurred  to  him  that  this  might 
be  the  Torja  in  question.  The  first  peasant  we  met 
on  entering  the  village  confirmed  his  suspicions,  and 

led  us  straight  to  the  house.     Baron  A ,  who 

was  at  home,  was  delighted  beyond  expression  to 
see  our  friend.  Unfortunately  for  us,  the  Baron 
could  not  speak  a  word  of  German,  and  we  could 
only  communicate  with  him  through  W 's  in- 
terpretation ;  to  say  the  truth,  I  doubt  if  he  would 
have  spoken  it  even  if  he  could,  in  so  great  horror 
did  he  hold  everything  German. 

After  the  first  greetings  were  over,  and  we  had 
all  been  taken   into  the   house   and   presented   to 

his  lady,  W ventured  to  express  our  wish  to 

get  on  as  quickly  as  possible  to  the  cave.  I  say 
ventured,  for  it  was  not  till  I  had  given  him  seve- 
ral hints,  and  even  then  rather  against  his  will, 
that  he  did  so,  for  he  knew  how  high  a  notion 
the  Szeklers  have  of  the  duty  of  hospitality,  and 
he  foresaw  no  little  difficulty  in  our  escaping 
without  spending  the  whole  day  where  we  were. 
When  once  the  Baron  was  made  to  understand 


that  our  engagements  rendered  it  impossible  for 
us  to  stay,  disappointed  as  he  was,  he  consented 
to  get  us  a  conveyance  fit  for  the  roads,  and  pro- 
mised to  accompany  us  himself  to  the  place.  While 
the  horses  were  getting  ready,  which  I  thought 
occupied  rather  more  time  than  was  absolutely 
necessary,  I  had  time  to  look  about  me,  and  observe 
something  of  the  establishment  of  a  Szekler  no- 
bleman. As  usual,  the  house  was  only  of  one 
story ;  and,  except  in  its  size,  differing  but  little 
from  those  about  it.  The  large  unpaved  court- 
yard, surrounded  by  stables  and  waggon -sheds, 
separated  it  from  the  road ;  and,  on  the  other  side 
were  a  kitchen-garden  and  orchard.  The  interior 
of  the  house  was  modestly,  perhaps  sparingly,  fur- 
nished, for  Baron  A ,  though  boasting  a  pedi- 
gree scarcely  to  be  equalled  in  the  country,  was 
less  favoured  than  many  others  on  the  score  of 
fortune ;  but  some  old  portraits  gave  an  air  of 
dignity  to  the  rooms,  and  everything  was  comfort- 
able and  well-ordered. 

Here,  as  in  every  other  part  of  the  Szekler-land 
we  had  occasion  to  notice  the  extraordinary  affec- 
tion and  almost  veneration  with  which  Baron  Wes- 
sel&iyi  Miklos  was  regarded.  His  portrait  was  seen 
in  every  house,  his  name  was  on  every  lip.  The 
Szeklers  look  up  to  him  as  the  great  advocate 
of  their  rights,  the  defender  of  their  liberties.  So 
strong  was  the  feeling  of  indignation  and  resent- 
ment when  they  knew  of  his  prosecution,  that  I 


have  heard  it  said,  by  those  who  had  good  oppor- 
tunity to  know  the  real  state  of  the  case,  that 
had  he  chosen  to  have  thrown  himself  among  the 
Szeklers,  they  would  have  risen  to  a  man  in  his 
defence.  How  serious  an  affair  the  rising  of  forty 
or  fifty  thousand  men  accustomed  to  the  use  of 
arms  might  have  been  in  so  mountainous  a  coun- 
try as  this,  it  was  easy  to  foresee,  but  Baron 
Wessel^nyi  was  too  true  a  patriot  to  throw  his 
country  into  rebellion,  and  expose  her  to  all  the 
horrors  of  a  civil  war  where  his  own  interests 
would  have  been  the  chief  cause  of  quarrel.  It 
requires  a  very  powerful  cause  to  induce  an  honest 
patriot  to  call  his  countrymen  to  arms,  but  when 
once  he  has  done  so,  it  requires  a  full  assurance 
for  the  future  ere  he  consents  that  they  shall  be 
laid  down. 

When  the  horses  at  last  arrived,  the  reason 
of  their  long  delay  came  out :  the  Baroness  was 
determined  we  should  not  leave  without  dining, 
and  though  it  was  only  nine  when  we  got  there, 
and  was  now  scarcely  eleven,  she  assured  us  that 
dinner  was  on  the  table,  and  that  we  should  have 
still  time  to  take  something  before  the  horses 
were  fed  and  harnessed.  At  last  we  started,  and 
following  the  course  of  a  narrow  valley,  where 
we  were  frequently  obliged  to  drive  along  the 
brook  for  want  of  a  better  road,  we  arrived  in 
three  hours  at  its  far  end  where  the  road  ceased 
altogether.  As  we  walked  up  the  hill,  the  Baron 

344  THE   BUDOS. 

explained  to  us  that  we  were  about  to  visit  some 
mineral  springs,  in  the  first  instance,  which  occupy 
the  summit  of  this  hill,  and  then  go  on  about 
a  mile  further  to  the  Btidos,  or  stinking  cave,  of 
which  we  were  in  search.  When  we  reached  the 
summit  we  were  surprised  to  find  three  or  four 
log-huts  tolerably  well  constructed,  and  a  quantity 
of  straw  and  half-burned  wood  lying  about,  as 
if  they  had  been  lately  inhabited.  In  fact,  they 
had  been  so,  for  in  spite  of  the  ignorance  of  the 
people  of  Vasarhely  upon  the  subject,  the  Budos 
springs  are  a  very  fashionable  bathing-place, — at 
least  among  the  peasants.  They  come  here  in 
summer,  build  a  hut  of  branches,  line  it  with 
straw,  and  stocking  it  plentifully  with  provisions, 
remain  here  for  a  month  or  six  weeks  at  a  time. 
Without  waiting  to  look  further  at  the  springs, 
we  hastened  to  the  cave. 

In  the  face  of  a  rock  of  magnesian  limestone, 
there  was  an  opening  large  enough  to  contain  about 
a  dozen  persons,  the  floor  of  which  slanted  inwards 
and  downwards  from  the  mouth.  A  few  years  ago 
this  cave  was  much  larger,  but  a  great  portion  of  it 
was  destroyed  by  an  earthquake.  About  the  sides 
of  the  lower  part  there  was  a  thin  yellow  incrus- 
tation, which  we  found  to  be  sulphur  deposited 
from  the  gases  which  issue  from  crevices  in  the 
rock.  As  we  got  further  into  the  cave  we  felt  a 
sensation  of  tingling  warmth,  unlike  anything  I  ever 
felt  before,  creeping  as  it  were  up  the  body,  higher 

THE   BUDOS.  345 

and  higher  in  proportion  as  we  descended  lower. 
This  extraordinary  phenomenon  is  owing  to  the 
concentrated  state  of  the  carbonic  acid  gas  (mixed 
with  a  very  small  proportion  of  sulphuretted  hydro- 
gen), which  issues  from  an  air-spring  in  the  lower 
part  of  the  cave,  and  fills  it  to  a  level  with  the 
mouth,  whence  it  flows  out  as  regular  as  water 
would  do.  The  temperature  was  not  higher  in  one 
part  of  the  cave  than  in  another,  for  in  moving 
the  hand  from  the  upper  part  to  the  lower  not  the 
slightest  difference  could  be  at  first  perceived ;  but 
in  a  few  seconds,  as  soon  as  the  acid  had  power 
to  penetrate  the  skin,  the  tingling  warmth  was  felt. 
We  descended  till  the  gas  reached  the  chin,  when 
we  could  raise  it  in  the  hand  to  the  lips  and  dis- 
tinctly perceive  its  sour  taste.  It  is  commonly 
supposed  that  the  diluted  carbonic  acid  gas  pro- 
duces death  by  entering  the  lungs  and  excluding 
all  other  air,  but  here  it  was  impossible  to  respire 
it ;  the  irritation  produced  on  the  glottis  contracted 
it  convulsively,  and  death  would  therefore  occur 
almost  immediately  from  strangulation.  If  any  of 
it  got  into  the  eyes  and  nose,  it  made  them  smart 
severely.  The  peasants  ascertain  how  far  they  can 
go  with  safety  by  striking  their  flints,  and  stopping 
when  they  no  longer  give  sparks. 

We  remained  for  some  time  in  the  cave  enjoy- 
ing the  sensation  it  produced  exceedingly.  As 
might  be  expected,  so  excellent  an  air-bath  has  not 
been  neglected  by  the  peasants  of  the  neighbour- 

346  THE   BUDOS. 

hood,  and  hundreds  repair  hither  to  profit  by  it  every 
year.  The  common  manner  of  using  it  is,  to  repair 
to  the  cave  early  in  the  morning,  and  remain  for  an 
hour  or  more,  with  the  whole  body  subjected  to  the 
influence  of  the  gas,  till  a  profuse  perspiration  is 
produced,  when  they  proceed  to  one  of  the  cold 
baths  we  had  observed  as  we  came  up.  These 
baths  are  impregnated  with  the  same  gases  as  the 
air  of  the  cavern,  but  contain  apparently  rather 
more  sulphur.  The  cases  for  which  the  Biidos  is 
most  celebrated,  are  those  of  chronic  rheumatism, 
and  complicated  mercurial  affections.  So  great  is 
the  carelessness  of  the  peasants,  that  rarely  a  year 
passes  without  some  of  them  perishing  in  this  cave. 
This  season  two  such  accidents  had  happened.  The 
common  name  given  to  the  cave  is  the  "  Murder- 
hole  "  (Gyilkoslyuk). 

As  we  returned,  many  mineral  springs  were 
pointed  out  to  us,  with  which  indeed  the  whole 
mountain  seems  to  be  covered. 

We  had  intended,  after  seeing  the  Biidos,  to  visit 
the  ruins  of  a  fine  old  castle,  formerly  the  residence 

of  Baron  A 's  ancestors,  which  crowned  the 

summit  of  the  mountain,  and  then  go  on  to  the 
Lake  of  St.  Anna,  about  four  hours  further ;  but  it 
set  in  for  so  wet  a  night,  that  the  length  of  the 
march  and  the  certainty  of  being  obliged  to  sleep 
on  the  damp  ground  cooled  our  ardour.  The  lake 
is  said  to  be  small,  and  occupies  the  summit  of 
a  hill.  It  is  believed  to  be  the  crater  of  an  old 

THE   HAROM-SZtiK.  347 

volcano.     We  now  made  the  best  of  our  way  back, 

and  bidding  adieu  to  Baron  A at  Torja,  we 

got  to   our  snug   quarters   at  the   Frenchman's  in 
time  for  supper. 

We  bade  adieu  to  the  Szekler-land  the  next  day, 

but  not  till  we  had  passed  through  a  part  of  it,  the 

Harom-Sz6k,   forming  one    of  the  most   beautiful 

spots  this  earth  can  show.      The  whole  district  is 

a  gently  undulating  plain,  covered  with  the  richest 

I  crops,  dotted  over  with  flourishing  villages,  watered 

by   the   meandering   Aluta,   and    bounded  on    two 

|  sides    by  the  most  beautiful  chains   of  mountains 

!  it  is  possible  to  conceive.     Time  after  time  did  we 

|  stop  the  carriage  and   turn  back  to  enjoy  another 

i  last  look  at  this  beautiful  scene.     And  then  what 

I  treasures    of    unexplored    scenery,    what    hosts    of 

Nature's  miracles,  do  those  mountains  contain  !     We 

:  had  heard   of  caverns,  cliffs,  and  ruins,  of  boiling 

springs,   and  streams  of  naphtha,  and  I   know  not 

;  what  else  ;  yet  every  one  said  that,  except  to  the 

I  shepherds,  almost  all  these  wonders  are  known  only 

by  name. 

We  had  remarked  throughout  the  Szekler-land, 

I  generally,  a  better  state  of  cultivation  and  greater 

signs  of  industry  than  in  most  other  parts  of  Tran- 

I  sylvania,   but  this  was  nowhere   so  manifest  as  in 

the  Harom-Szek.     The  implements  were  rude,  the 

|  system    of  cultivation    exceedingly   imperfect,    but 

yet  the  general  aspect  of  the  country  showed  how 

much   application  and   industry  will   do  to   supply 

348  THE   HAROM-SZ^K. 

the  want  of  knowledge  and  capital.  Property  is 
more  equally  divided  here  than  elsewhere,  the 
people  are  consequently  more  industrious,  and  I 
believe,  produce  more  than  in  other  parts,  where, 
although  their  forces  may  be  better  applied,  large 
possessions  induce  idleness  and  indifference  in  the 
mass  of  the  people. 





The  Saxon  Land. — Settlement  of  the  Saxons. — Their  Charter. — 
Political  and  Municipal  Privileges. — Saxon  Character. — School 
Sickness. — Kronstadt. — A  Hunting  Party. — Smuggling  from 
Wallachia. —  The  Bear  and  the  General. —  Terzburg  and  the 
German  Knights. — Excursion  to  Bucses. — The  Kalibaschen. — 
The  Convent.— The  Valleys  of  Bucses.— Virtue  in  Self-denial. 
— The  Alpine  Horn. — Fortified  Churches  and  Infidel  Invasions. 
— Fogaras.  —  Hermanstadt.  —  Baron  Bruchenthal.  —  Rothen 
Thurm  Pass. — A  Digression  on  Wallachia  and  Moldavia. — 
Saxon  Language. — Beauty  of  Transylvania. 

THE  narrow  waters  of  the  Aluta  separate  two  as 
distinct  races  of  men,  two  as  opposite  systems  of 
government,  and  for  many  years  two  as  bitter  na- 
tional enemies  as  though  mountains  or  oceans  had 
for  ages  opposed  a  natural  barrier  of  separation 
betwixt  them.  We  crossed  a  simple  wooden  bridge 
thrown  across  a  mere  brook,  and  from  the  Szeklers 
we  had  passed  to  the  land  of  the  Saxons.  Nor 
was  the  outward  appearance  of  things  less  changed. 
Although  it  was  the  same  plain  we  were  traversing, 
and  although  the  same  green  mountains  bounded 
it,  and  the  same  brooks  watered  it,  there  was  a 

350  THE   SAXONS. 

manifest  difference  in  the  part  which  man  had  acted 
on  its  surface. 

I  have  already  remarked  that  the  Harom-Szek 
was  better  cultivated  than  the  rest  of  the  Szekler 
land,  but  the  Burzenland  land,  as  this  part  of  the 
Saxon  land  is  called,  appeared  like  a  garden  in  com- 
parison even  with  that.  The  whole  plain  seemed 
alive  with  ploughs  and  harrows — in  the  Harom- 
Sz£k  they  had  not  yet  begun  to  break  up  the 
ground,  —  and  on  every  side  teams  were  moving 
about,  manure  was  spreading,  and  the  seed  was 
scattered  abroad,  with  a  busy  hand.  It  was  more 
like  a  scene  in  the  best  part  of  Belgium,  than  what 
one  would  expect  on  the  borders  of  Turkey.  It  was 
striking,  too,  after  the  eye  had  been  so  long  accus- 
tomed to  the  Hungarian  dresses  of  the  Szeklers,  in 
all  their  picturesque  rudeness,  to  have  before  it 
nothing  but  the  stiff  old-fashioned  costumes  which 
one  still  sees  among  the  most  primitive  inhabitants 
of  Germany.  How  it  has  happened  that  the  Saxons, 
who  have  been  so  far  separated  from  the  rest  of 
the  great  German  family,  should  have  hit  upon  the 
self-same  ugly  costume  —  for  it  certainly  did  not 
exist  when  they  emigrated  —  would  be  a  puzzle 
for  the  most  erudite  of  philosophising  tailors,  and 
is,  I  must  confess,  far  beyond  me.  But  the  most 
startling  feature  in  the  picture  was  the  very  ac- 
tive part  taken  by  the  women  in  the  operations 
so  busily  carried  on  before  us.  Some  were  sow- 
ing corn,  others  using  the  fork  and  spade,  others 

THE   SAXON   WOMEN.  351 

again  holding-  the  plough,  and — believe  or  not,  as 
you  will,  reader — there,  too,  was  the  stout  Saxon 
Ham  Frau  seated,  en  cavalier,  on  the  near  wheeler, 
and  driving  four-in-hand,  as  composedly  as  possi- 
ble. Nor  was  decency  put  to  the  blush  by  the 
slightest  exposure.  The  Saxon  women  have  bor- 
rowed the  long  boots  from  their  Hungarian  neigh- 
bours, which,  with  their  own  thick  woollen  petti- 
coats covered  their  whole  persons  most  effectually. 
The  dress  of  these  women  is  much  the  same  as  that 
which  the  broom  girls  have  made  familiar  to  our 
streets, — a  cloth  petticoat  with  most  ample  folds, 
surmounted  by  a  cloth  stomacher  buttoned  or  laced 
in  front,  and  a  small  cap,  fitting  closely  on  the  head  ; 
or  for  the  unmarried  girls,  a  long  braid  of  flaxen 
hair  hanging  down  the  back,  with  a  straw  hat  of 
small  crown  and  preposterously  broad  brim.  Such 
stout  maids  as  some  of  these  hats  shaded,  and  so 
unpoetically  employed,  I  never  saw;  but  I  have  no 
doubt  their  round,  fat,  good-tempered  faces,  and 
laughing  blue  eyes,  have  not  the  less  charms  for 
the  Saxon  youth  because  they  are  united  to  a 
strong  and  healthy  body,  and  to  habits  of  industry, 
albeit  coarse  in  their  kind.  The  Saxons  are  a 
canny  folk,  and  if  not  very  romantic  and  chival- 
rous, they  are  prudent  and  laborious.  But  before 
I  discuss  more  of  their  character,  let  me  say  a 
word  or  two  of  their  history. 

It  was  to  the  Servian  Princess  Helena,  the  wife 
of  the  Blind  Bela,   who  ruled   in  Hungary  about 


the  middle  of  the  twelfth  century,  during  the  mi- 
nority of  her  son  Geysa  the  Second,  that  Transyl- 
vania owed  the  repeopling  her  wastes  with  indus- 
trious German  colonists.  Taking  advantage  of  the 
peace  which  she  had  concluded  with  the  Emperor 
of  Germany,  she  invited  the  peasants  of  that  coun- 
try to  emigrate,  and  promised  them  lands  and  liber- 
ties within  the  boundaries  of  Hungary.  1143  is 
commonly  assigned  as  the  date  of  their  first  set- 
tlement— some  of  them  in  the  North  of  Hungary, 
and  others  in  Transylvania.  Under  Andrew  the 
Second,  in  1224,  two  years  after  the  Bulla  Aurea, 
those  of  Transylvania  obtained  a  charter  of  their 
liberties,  of  which  the  chief  articles  seem  to  have 
been  as  follows : — 

"  They  might  elect  from  their  own  body  a  chief, 
or  Comes,  who  should  be  their  judge  in  peace,  and 
leader  in  war. 

"  No  change  to  be  made  in  the  coin  within  their 
boundaries,  but  they  consented  to  pay  for  this  privi- 
lege a  yearly  tax  of  five  hundred  marks  of  silver. 

"  They  agreed  to  furnish  five  hundred  soldiers  for 
a  defensive  war,  and  one  hundred  for  an  offensive,  if 
the  army  was  commanded  by  the  king  in  person, 
but  only  fifty  if  commanded  by  an  Hungarian  mag- 

"  The  free  election  of  their  own  clergy,  and  their 
undisturbed  enjoyment  of  the  tithe. 

"  Right  of  pasture  and  wood-cutting  in  the  forests 
of  the  Wallacks  and  Byssenians. 


"  Freedom  from  more  than  twice  entertaining  the 
Woivode  in  the  course  of  the  year. 

"  Removal  of  market-tolls  from  their  district, 
and  freedom  of  their  trade-companies  from  all 

It  was  not  likely  that  a  foreign  nation  should  be 
allowed  to  take  up  its  dwelling  among  a  people  so 
wild  and  so  jealous  of  foreigners  as  the  Magyars, 
without  having  to  fight  hard  for  its  possessions ;  and 
frequent  were  the  contests  to  which  the  German 
settlers  were  exposed.  The  king,  however,  was 
always  ready  to  lend  his  aid  to  his  faithful  Saxons, 
and  with  his  help,  and  by  their  own  industry,  they 
throve  in  spite  of  all  opposition.  When  Transyl- 
vania was  contending  for  an  independent  sovereignty, 
the  Saxons  joined  the  Hungarian  nobles  in  oppo- 
sition to  Austria,  and  a  union  of  the  Magyars, 
Szeklers,  and  Saxons  was  formed,  by  which  each 
party  was  secured  in  its  own  rights  and  privileges, 
and  to  each  was  given  a  fair  share  in  the  common 
legislative  assembly.  They  still,  however,  retained 
their  own  laws  and  municipal  institutions. 

One  of  the  fundamental  laws  of  the  Saxons  is 
the  equality  of  every  individual  of  the  Saxon  nation. 
They  have  no  nobles,  no  peasants.  Not  but  that 
many  of  the  Saxons  have  received  letters  of  nobility, 
and  deck  themselves  out  in  all  its  plumes ;  yet,  as 
every  true  Saxon  will  tell  you,  that  is  only  as 
Hungarian  nobles,  not  as  Saxons. 

Their  municipal  government  was  entirely  in  their 

VOL.    II.  A    A 


own  hands ;  every  village  chose  its  own  officers, 
and  managed  its  own  affairs,  without  the  inter- 
ference of  any  higher  power.  A  few  years  ago, 
however,  a  great  and  completely  arbitrary  change 
was  made  in  this  institution,  which,  though  it 
almost  escaped  notice  at  the  time,  has  since  excited 
the  most  bitter  complaints.  The  whole  of  this 
transaction  was  managed  without  the  consent  either 
of  the  Diet  or  the  Saxon  nation.  Its  effects  have 
been  to  deprive  the  Saxon  communities  of  the  free 
exercise  of  their  privileges,  and  to  deliver  them 
into  the  power  of  a  corrupt  bureaucracy,  over  which 
they  have  little  or  no  control. 

The  Saxons,  however,  are  a  slow  people,  sus- 
picious of  their  neighbours,  and  caring  more  for 
material  than  political  interests;  and  though  they 
have  long  complained,  they  have  scarcely  ever 
ventured  to  demand  a  restitution  of  their  rights. 
Hitherto,  the  Saxons  have  been  among  the  most 
certain  adherents  of  the  Crown ;  and,  whether  from 
a  recollection  of  former  wrongs,  or  irritated  by  an 
insolent  bearing  on  the  part  of  the  Hungarians, 
or  afraid  of  losing  their  own  privileges  by  aiding 
the  objects  of  others,  they  have  rarely  joined  the 
Liberal  party.  In  the  last  Diet,  however,  even  the 
Saxons,  — prvdentes  et  circumspecti  although  they 
be  entitled,  —  could  not  altogether  resist  the  tide 
of  public  opinion,  and,  egged  on  a  little  perhaps  by 
their  own  wrongs,  they  too  joined  the  opposition. 
Not  that  they  altogether  belied  their  title  even 


then,  for  they  are  said  to  have  done  it  so  cautiously, 
that  it  was  often  difficult  to  know  to  which  side  they 
really  leaned.  When  it  was  determined  to  send  a 
deputation  to  the  Emperor,  to  remonstrate  against 
the  proceedings  of  the  Arch-Duke,  two  Saxon  de- 
puties were  included  amongst  the  number  of  those 
selected.  All  manner  of  excuses  were  urged  to 
enable  them  to  escape  from  the  perilous  honour ; 
but  the  Hungarians  mischievously  enjoyed  their 
difficulty,  and  would  admit  of  no  apology.  When 
they  arrived  at  Vienna,  and  the  day  came  for  the 
dreaded  audience,  the  Saxon  deputies  were  both 
taken  suddenly  ill,  and  protested  they  could  not 
leave  their  beds,  but  they  desired  the  rest  of  the 
deputation  to  proceed  without  them,  declaring  at 
the  same  time  that  they  would  wait  on  his  Majesty 
alone  when  sufficiently  recovered.  As  this  lame 
apology  for  their  absence  was  offered  to  the  Em- 
peror, he  burst  into  a  hearty  laugh,  and  exclaimed, 
"  Ah !  ah  !  a  school  sickness !  a  school  sickness  ! 
My  poor  Saxons !  they  don't  like  to  bring  me 
disagreeable  news." 

For  the  rest,  the  Saxons  are  undoubtedly  the 
most  industrious,  steady,  and  frugal  of  all  the  in- 
habitants of  Transylvania,  and  they  are  consequently 
the  best  lodged,  best  clothed,  and  best  instructed. 

Kronstadt  was  the  object  we  were  now  making 
for,  and  we  had  almost  entered  it  before  we  were 
aware  of  its  proximity,  so  completely  is  it  imbedded 
in  the  mountains,  which  bound  this  plain  to  the 



south.  The  first  glimpse  was  sufficient  to  show  us 
that  we  were  approaching  something  different  from 
what  we  had  seen  before.  The  outskirts  of  the 
town  were  occupied  by  pretty  villas,  surrounded 
by  well-kept  gardens,  strongly  indicative  of  com- 
merce, and  the  wealth  and  tastes  it  brings  with 
it,  and  very  different  from  the  straggling  houses 
and  neglected  court-yards  of  the  poor  Szekler 
nobles.  Before  the  gates  of  the  town  is  a  large 
open  esplanade,  forming  a  promenade,  ornamented 
with  avenues  of  trees  and  a  Turkish  kiosk.  The 
gates  themselves  are  still  standing,  three  deep,  and 
looking  as  terrible  as  when  Kronstadt  was  still  a 
place  of  strength,  and  when  its  brave  magistrate, 
Michael  Weiss,  held  it  with  so  much  glory  against 
the  faithless  Bathori  Gabor,  and  all  the  forces 
which  Transylvania  could  bring  against  it. 

If  the  reader  will  understand  the  situation  of 
Kronstadt,  let  him  imagine  an  opening  in  the  long 
line  of  mountains  which  separate  Transylvania 
from  Wallachia  in  the  form  of  a  triangle,  between 
the  legs  of  which  stands  an  isolated  hill.  Within 
this  triangle,  lies  the  town  of  Kronstadt,  and  on 
the  top  of  the  isolated  hill  there  is  a  modern 
fortress  of  some  strength.  The  mountains  come 
so  close  down  on  the  little  valley,  that  the  walls 
are  in  many  places  built  part  of  the  way  up 
their  sides.  The  town  itself  is  regularly  and 
well  built,  and  its  towers  and  walls  and  bristling 
spires,  standing  out  against  the  mountain  sides, — 



themselves  well 
covered  with  wood, 
and   fretted    with  lime- 
stone peaks,  —  form  one 
of    the   most    picturesque 
scenes  the  artist  could  desire. 

A  rapid  stream  rushes  in  various  channels 
through  the  streets ;  and  besides  serving  to  keep 
the  Saxons  clean,  makes  itself  useful  to  a  host 
of  dyers,  fellmongers,  tanners,  and  millers,  with 
which  this  little  Manchester  abounds.  Kronstadt 
and  its  neighbourhood  are  in  fact  the  only  parts 
of  Transylvania  in  which  any  manufactured  pro- 
duce is  prepared  for  exportation,  and  here  it  is 
carried  on  to  a  considerable  extent.  The  chief 
articles  produced  are  woollen  cloths,  of  a  coarse 
description,  such  as  are  used  for  the  dresses  of 
the  peasants,  linen  and  cotton  goods,  stockings, 


skins,  leather,  wooden  bottles  of  a  peculiar  form 
and  very  much  esteemed,  and  light  waggons  on 
wooden  springs.  The  principal  part  of  its  exports 
are  to  Wallachia  and  Moldavia.  A  considerable 
transit  commerce  between  Vienna  and  the  Prin- 
cipalities is  likewise  carried  on  through  Kronstadt, 
which  is  chiefly  in  the  hands  of  a  privileged  com- 
pany of  Greek  merchants.  This  trade  is  said  to 
have  fallen  off  of  late  years ;  it  is  likely  to  be  still 
further  diminished  as  the  Danube  opens  better 
channels  of  communication. 

The  population  of  Kronstadt  amounts  to  thirty- 
six  thousand,  by  far  the  greatest  of  any  town  in 
Transylvania,  and  it  is  composed  of  as  motley  a 
crew  as  can  well  be  imagined.  The  sober  plod- 
ding Saxon  is  jostled  by  the  light  and  cunning 
Greek ;  the  smooth-faced  Armenian,  the  quaker  of 
the  East,  in  his  fur  cloak,  and  high  kalpak,  meets 
his  match  at  a  bargain  in  the  humble-looking  Jew ; 
and  the  dirty  Boyar  from  Jassy,  proud  of  his  wealth 
and  his  nobility,  meets  his  equal  in  pride  in  the 
peasant  noble  of  the  Szekler-land.  Hungarian 
magnates  and  Turkish  merchants,  Wallack  shep- 
herds and  gipsy  vagabonds  make  up  the  motley 
groups  which  give  life  and  animation  to  the  streets 
of  Kronstadt. 

Our  first  visit  was  to  the  old  church,  a  vener- 
able Gothic  structure  of  elegant  proportions.  Al- 
though the  church  now  belongs  to  the  Lutherans, 
the  national  religion  of  the  Saxons,  its  buttresses 


bear  the  somewhat  time-eaten  statues  of  Catholic 
saints,  each  in  its  separate  niche.  The  door-ways, 
rounder  than  the  Gothic  arch  of  that  age  (1400) 
with  us,  are  well  carved  in  bold  compartments,  — 
and  rare  good  taste ;  the  doors  themselves  are  richly 
worked  in  the  same  style.  The  interior  is  bold 
and  pure,  though  rather  simple. 

All  the  trades  in  Transylvania  are  under  the  rule 
of  companies  and  corporations  ;  and  I  was  much 
amused  by  their  chartered  pride  as  illustrated  in 
this  church.  The  women  occupy  rows  of  benches 
up  the  centre  of  the  aisle ;  but  on  the  sides  are 
arranged  a  number  of  seats  in  regular  gradation  for 
the  men,  divided  off  into  different  sets,  each  set 
being  appropriated  to  a  particular  corporation.  The 
heads  of  the  corporation  are  seated  in  front  of  the 
rest,  and  their  stalls  are  ornamented  with  rich  Per- 
sian carpets,  after  the  manner  of  the  East.  In  a 
gallery  above,  the  apprentices  of  these  trades  are 
placed  in  similar  order;  first,  the  tanners,  then 
the  shoe-makers,  then  the  masons,  and  so  on,  with 
their  arms  and  insignia  painted  in  gay  colours  on 
the  front. 

As  we  left  the  church,  the  Lutheran  college 
was  pointed  out  to  us,  and,  in  a  few  minutes 
after,  we  saw  a  number  of  students  and  professors 
issuing  from  its  doors  in  the  oddest  costume  aca- 
demic fancy  ever  contrived.  The  student  is  clothed 
in  a  long,  straight-cut  black  coat,  reaching  below 
his  knees,  and  fastened  from  the  neck  to  the  waist 


by  a  row  of  broad  silver  hooks,  each  two  inches 
long,  and  so  closely  set  together,  that  they  look 
like  a  facing  of  solid  silver.  Above  this  is  a  black 
cloak  fastened  by  a  huge  antique-looking  silver 
chain  ;  below  a  pair  of  black  knee-boots,  and,  to 
crown  the  whole,  a  monstrous  cocked-hat.  Except 
that  their  cloak  was  of  silk  instead  of  cloth,  the 
professors  wore  nearly  the  same  dress.  Every  one 
as  he  passed  us  raised  his  huge  cocked-hat  to  salute 
the  strangers,  and  it  kept  us  for  full  five  minutes 
bare-headed  to  return  this  shower  of  unexpected 
civilities.  * 

Beyond  the  walls  of  the  old  town  we  were  shown 
the  great  Wai  lack  church,  the  handsomest  belong- 
ing to  that  body  in  the  country,  and,  what  is  still 
more  worthy  of  remark,  rebuilt  by  an  Empress  of 
Russia  in  1751.  The  interior  is,  as  usual  in  Wai- 
lack  churches,  completely  covered  with  paintings  of 
saints  and  devils,  the  latter  playing  every  sort  of 
trick,  to  cheat  the  angel,  and  to  overload  the  balance 
on  the  side  of  sin  at  the  last  judgment,  which  it 
was  possible  for  the  united  imaginations  of  artist 
and  priest  to  conceive.  There  is  something  very 
eastern  in  the  Greek  custom  of  excluding  the 
women  from  the  body  of  the  church :  here  they 
were  thrust  into  an  outer  part,  where  they  could 
scarcely  even  hear  the  service.  We  observed 

*  Besides  this  college,  the  Saxons  have  Gymnasia,  in  Hermann- 
stadt,  Schlossburg,  Muhlenbach,  Mediasch,  Bistritz,  Groszschenk, 
and  Birthalm. 


several  small  silver  crosses  richly  ornamented  with 
precious  stones,  and  each  pretending  to  enclose  a 
portion  of  the  true  cross. 

Though  the  walls  and  gates  of  Kronstadt  have 
been  for  the  most  part  preserved, — as  indeed  they 
well  deserve,  for  many  of  the  towers  are  exceed- 
ingly picturesque, — the  ditch  has  been  wisely  con- 
verted to  the  purposes  of  a  public  promenade,  and 
a  very  beautiful  one  it  makes. 

The  proximity  to  Turkey,  and  the  frequent  inter- 
course of  its  inhabitants  with  this  place,  have  given 
to  Kronstadt  something  of  Turkish  habits  and  man- 
ners. The  amber  mouth-piece,  the  long  chibouque, 
the  odoriferous  tobacco,  the  delicious  dolchazza,  and 
the  various  other  sweetmeats  of  a  Turkish  confec- 
tioner's— the  coffee-house  in  the  form  of  a  kiosk, 
the  bazaar,  and  many  other  peculiarities,  remind 
the  traveller  of  the  customs  of  the  East. 

As  we  were  walking  about  after  dinner,  making 
some  few  purchases  preparatory  to  leaving,  and 
more  especially  of  some  of  the  excellent  liqueurs 

for  which  Kronstadt  is  so  celebrated,  W 

found  in  one  of  the  Kronstadters,  an  old  college- 
companion,  by  whom  he  was  heartily  welcomed  to 
the  town.  This  was  all  very  pleasant,  but  then 
came  the  difficulty  of  getting  away.  We  had  seen 
nothing  at  all,  he  told  us  ;  and  the  country  was  full 
of  wonderful  sights  which  it  was  quite  impossible 
we  should  leave  without  visiting.  We  remained 
firm  notwithstanding,  and  returned  back  to  our 


inn,  and  ordered  the  horses  to  be  ready  for  the 
next  morning.  We  were  scarcely  seated,  however, 
before  our  Kronstadter  broke  in  upon  us  with  his 
friend  Herr  v.  L ,  a  gentleman  of  the  neigh- 
bourhood, who  would  not  hear  of  our  leaving  with- 
out a  promise  of  paying  him  a  visit  in  our  way. 
Besides  a  fine  country  to  show  us,  he  had  the  best 
grounds  for  chamois  and  bear-hunting  of  any  in 
Transylvania,  and  was  himself  a  most  enthusiastic 
sportsman.  This  was  not  to  be  resisted,  and  he 
accordingly  bade  us  good  night  that  he  might 
hasten  home  and  make  preparations  for  the  next 
morning,  we  agreeing  to  be  with  him  at  an  early 

We  were  off  by  six,  and  on  our  way  to  Zer- 
nyest,  full  of  hopes,  in  which  chamois  and  bears 
held  a  conspicuous  place.  We  passed  a  rich  and 
flourishing  village,  Rosenau,  where,  on  the  hill 
above,  were  very  extensive  ruins  of  an  old  castle, 
formerly  one  of  the  strongest  in  the  country.  We 

found  Herr  v.  L waiting  for  us  with  a  whole 

train  of  Wallack*  peasants,  armed  and  ready  for 
the  sport.  After  a  hearty  breakfast,  we  mounted 
some  small  ponies  and  followed  a  clear  crystal 
brook — Herr  v.  L says,  containing  the  finest- 
flavoured  trout  in  the  country — along  the  foot 
of  the  mountain,  till  we  came  at  last  to  the  base 

*  Zernyest  is  a  fief  of  Kronstadt,  and  held  by  peasants  (Wai- 
lacks),  in  the  same  manner  as  in  the  Hungarian  counties.  Our 
host  had  taken  it  on  a  lease. 


of  the  Konigsberg,  one  of  the  highest  of  this  range 
on  which  the  hunt  was  to  take  place.  From  this 
point  the  ascent  began,  but  for  another  hour  we 
could  still  ride ;  so  we  threw  the  reins  on  the  ponies' 
necks,  and  allowed  them  to  scramble  on  among  the 
rocks  and  stones  as  best  they  could.  These  animals 
seemed  so  well  accustomed  to  the  work,  that  I  could 
not  help  thinking  they  had  often  been  employed 
at  it  before,  though,  perhaps,  with  other  burthens. 
On  inquiring  of  our  host  he  confirmed  the  opinion, 
and  said  they  had  probably  been  much  further ;  for 
this  was  one  of  the  favourite  roads  of  the  smugglers, 
and  some  of  our  jagers  were  among  the  most 
notorious  of  that  profession  in  the  country.  "  You 
see  that  old  man  with  the  white  head,"  he  observed ; 
he  frequently  crosses  into  Wallachia  and  back 
again  on  such  errands,  and  sometimes  passes  the 
Danube  into  Roumelia.  On  one  occasion,  he  went 
even  as  far  as  Adrianople.  The  ordinary  station, 
however,  is  Kimpolung,  about  one  day's  journey 
across  the  border:  there  the  goods  are  delivered 
to  their  agent  by  some  house  in  Bucharest,  and  are 
retained  in  safety  till  the  smuggler  arrives,  shows 
the  countersign  agreed  on,  receives  them,  and 
transports  them  to  the  merchant  in  Kronstadt. 
The  whole  affair  is  arranged  in  a  perfectly  business- 
like manner,  and  a  very  few  zwanzigers  are  con- 
sidered sufficient  payment  for  the  risk.  Only  a 
short  time  since,  a  gentleman  of  this  neighbour- 
hood sent  our  old  white-headed  friend  to  bring 


him  some  cachmere  shawls  from  Kimpolung.  The 
old  man  threw  his  gun  over  his  shoulder,  filled 
his  wallet  with  malaj  (maize  bread),  and  went  out 
as  if  in  pursuit  of  game  only.  As  he  was  return- 
ing the  officers  caught  sight  of  him;  and  as  they 
knew  his  character,  though  they  never  were  able  to 
convict  him,  they  seized  and  examined  him.  He 
was  too  sharp  for  them ;  before  they  came  up  the 
shawls  were  hidden  under  some  well-marked  rock, 
and  a  brace  of  moor  fowl  was  all  his  bag  contained. 
Nevertheless,  they  felt  so  sure  of  his  guilt,  that  they 
threw  him  into  prison.  Of  course,  I  could  not 
allow  my  peasant  to  be  confined  without  a  cause, 
and  I  accordingly  demanded  that  he  should  be  re- 
leased if  no  proof  could  be  brought  against  him. 
He  was  set  free,  and  the  next  day  the  gentleman 
received  his  shawls." 

And  is  there  no  danger  of  these  men  betraying 
their  employers  ?  I  asked.  "  None ;  there  is  no 
example  of  it — no  flogging  can  get  their  secret  from 
them.  For  the  rest,  the  punishment  is  but  slight, 
and  with  a  good  friend  and  our  judges,  a  little  pre- 
sent will  generally  settle  the  matter." 

"  Do  you  mean,"  I  asked,  "  that  regular  smug- 
gling can  be  carried  on  over  these  mountains  in 
spite  of  the  Borderers  ?" 

"  Either  in  spite  of  them,  or  with  their  con- 
sent ;  there  is  no  difficulty  in  either ;  they  are  so 
wretchedly  poor,  that  the  smallest  bribe  will  pur- 
chase them." 


"And  can  bulky  articles  be  obtained  in  this 

"  Oh,  yes  !  the  staple  commodity  is  salt,  although 
articles  of  French,  English,  and  Turkish  manufac- 
ture are  common  too.  If  one  horse  won't  carry 
them,  two  will,  and  it  only  requires  a  little  more 

"  So,"  I  added,  "  if  I  wanted  a  Turkey  carpet  in 
Klausenburg,  without  paying  sixty  per  cent,  duty 
on  it,  I  could  have  it?" 

"Ho,  Juan!"  said  Herr  v.  L addressing  the 

smuggler,  "  this  gentleman  wishes  to  know  if  you 
could  get  him  a  Turkey  carpet  safe  over  the  bor- 
lers  from  Bucharest?" 

The  old  man  looked  up  from  under  his  bushy 
re-brows  with  a  cunning  smile,  and  for  answer, 
jked  quietly,  "  By  what  day  does  the  Dumnie  wish 

have  it?" 

Herr  v.  L seemed  quite  proud  of  the  skill 

and  courage  of  his  old  Wallack  peasant.  "  I  could 
do  nothing  without  him,"  he  observed ;  "  he  is 
the  best  huntsman,  and  best  mountaineer  in  the 
whole  country."  There  is  a  sort  of  natural  sym- 
pathy between  sportsmen  and  smugglers  and 
poachers,  —  indeed,  the  same  qualities  of  mind 
and  habits  of  body,  tend  to  form  the  one  as  the 
other ;  anc!  I  feel  sure  that  all  our  best  sportsmen 
would  have  been  poachers  or  smugglers  in  other 

We  now  dismounted,  and  leaving  our  ponies  to 


the  care  of  a  peasant,  sent  off  the  jagers  to  beat 
the  side  of  the  mountain,  while  we  prepared  to 
take  up  our  position  above.  We  had  still  two 
hours'  climbing  before  us.  Our  path  lay  straight 
up  the  mountain  in  a  cleft,  formed  either  by  the 
water,  or  some  crack  in  the  rocks,  and  enclosed 
on  either  side  by  huge  cliffs,  which  towered  so 
straight  above  our  heads,  that  it  made  us  dizzy  to 
trace  their  sharp  peaks  as  they  succeeded  each 
other.  The  path  was  not  one  of  the  smoothest, 
and  it  often  brought  us  on  our  hands  and  knees 
before  we  arrived  at  our  position.  At  last,  the  gun 
was  fired  by  the  treibers  and  jagers  to  warn  us  that 
their  beat  was  begun,  and  we  concealed  ourselves, 
and  waited  with  open  ears  and  eyes  and  with  ready 
gun  the  wished-for  sound  of  hoofs  on  the  hard  rock. 
This  beat  lasted  two  long  hours. 

I  shall  not  plague  you,  reader,  with  all  my  re- 
flections on  the  pleasure  of  sitting  on  a  cold  stone 
directly  in  the  way  of  a  cutting  wind,  which  rushed 
from  the  snow  mountain  just  above  us  to  the 
sunny  plains  below,  we  having  been  heated  with 
two  hours'  previous  climbing ;  I  shall  only  say,  as 

Herr  v.  L did,  "  it  requires  a  little  seasoning 

before  one  can  relish  it."  For  the  third  time,  we 
were  doomed  to  a  blank  day;  not  a  chamois  was 
to  be  found.  We  were  repaid,  however,  for  our 
trouble,  by  the  beautiful  scenery  which  this  moun- 
tain offers.  It  is  bold  and  grand  to  the  highest 
degree.  From  my  hiding-place,  I  had  a  view  over 




nearly  the  half  of  Transylvania.  I  saw  three  sepa- 
rate elevations  of  hill  and  vale,  sinking  below  each 
other  as  they  receded  from  the  high  lands. 

As  the  reader  may  believe,  we  were  not  very 
much  tempted  by  an  offer  of  our  host's  of  a  bear 
hunt  the  next  day,  especially  as  for  that  purpose  it 
would  have  .been  necessary  to  remain  in  the  moun- 
tains for  three  days  at  least.  Although  our  host 
assured  us  that  bears  were  very  plentiful,  and  that 
he  generally  killed  seven  or  eight  in  the  course 
of  the  year,  we  had  heard  too  much  of  the  extreme 
probability  of  a  disappointment  to  try  it.  I  know 
many  Transylvanian  gentlemen  who  never  miss  a 
ear  without  going  out  once  or  twice  on  a  bear 
unt ;  but,  except  our  host,  I  know  only  one  other 
ho  has  ever  shot  a  bear,  though  I  know  many  that 

Herr  v.  L told  us  an  excellent  story  of  a 

bear  hunt,  which  took  place  in  these  very  moun- 
tains, and  in  his  own  presence.  General  V ,  the 

Austrian  commander  of  the  forces  in  this  district, 
had  come  to  Kronstadt  to  inspect  the  troops,  and 
had  been  invited  by  our  friend,  in  compliment  to 
his  rank,  to  join  him  in  a  bear  hunt.  Now,  the 

*  I  have  not  been  able  to  satisfy  myself  if  the  wild  goat  really 
exists  in  these  mountains.     In  Wallachia,  I  was  assured  that  it 

did  ;  but  Herr  von  L said  he  had  never  met  either  with  the 

wild  goat  or  stein-bock,  or  indeed  with  any  game  of  that  kind, 
except  the  chamois,  in  the  course  of  his  experience.  The  wild 
goat,  however,  is  very  commonly  spoken  of,  and  I  have  heard 
many  say  they  have  eaten  it.  It  may  exist  more  to  the  north. 


General,  though  more  accustomed  to  drilling  than 
hunting,  accepted  the  invitation,  and  appeared  in 
due  time  in  a  cocked  hat  and  long  grey  great-coat, 
the  uniform  of  an  Austrian  general.  When  they 
had  taken  up  their  places,  the  General,  with  half- 
a-dozen  rifles  arrayed  before  him,  paid  such  devoted 
attention  to  a  bottle  of  spirits  he  had  brought  with 
him,  that  he  quite  forgot  the  object  of  his  coming. 
At  last,  however,  a  huge  bear  burst  suddenly  from 
the  cover  of  the  pine  forest  directly  in  front  of 
him.  At  that  moment,  the  bottle  was  raised  so 
high,  that  it  quite  obscured  the  General's  vision, 
and  he  did  not  perceive  the  intruder  till  he  was 
close  upon  him; — down  went  the  bottle,  up  jumped 
the  astonished  soldier,  and,  forgetful  of  his  guns,  off 
he  started,  with  the  bear  clutching  at  the  tails  of 
his  great-coat  as  he  ran  away.  What  strange  con- 
fusion of  ideas  was  muddling  the  General's  intel- 
lect at  the  moment,  it  is  difficult  to  say;  but  I 
suspect  he  had  some  notion  that  the  attack  was 
an  act  of  insubordination  on  the  part  of  bruin,  for 
he  called  out  most  lustily,  as  he  ran  along,  "  Back  ! 
rascal,  back !  I  am  a  general !"  Luckily  a  poor 
Wallack  peasant  had  more  respect  for  the  epau- 
lettes than  the  bear,  and  throwing  himself  in  the 
way,  with  nothing  but  a  spear  for  his  defence,  he 
kept  the  enemy  at  bay,  till  our  friend  and  the 
jagers  came  up  and  finished  the  contest  with  their 

Although  we  declined   the  bear-hunt,  we  could 


not  resist  the  offer  of  Herr  v.  L to  accompany 

us  in  an  excursion  just  across  the  borders  to  a 
Wallachian  hermitage,  which  he  described  as  ro- 
mantic, wild,  and  picturesque  in  the  highest  degree. 
It  was  too  far  for  one  day's  journey  from  Zernyest, 
so  we  left  immediately  after  dinner  for  Terzburg, 
a  small  village  on  the  very  borders  of  Transylvania, 
by  which  our  route  would  lead  us.  As  the  parents 
of  our  host's  lady,  an  Armenian,  lived  there,  he 
took  us  at  once  to  their  house  and  found  us  accom- 

Before  W could  be  persuaded  to  leave  his 

bed  next  morning,  I  had  accompanied  our  friend  to 
visit  the  old  castle  of  Terzburg,  which  is  still  in- 
habited and  in  good  preservation.  It  occupies  the 
point  of  an  isolated  rock,  of  no  great  height,  indeed, 
but  very  steep  on  every  side.  It  is  in  a  singular 
style,  half  Byzantine,  half  Gothic.  Its  importance 
in  former  times  was  so  great,  that  the  Kronstadters 
received  valuable  privileges  for  having  built  it.  At 
this  point  begins  one  of  the  few  practicable  passes 
between  Wallachia  and  Transylvania,  and  the  com- 
mand of  it  must  often  therefore  have  decided  the 
result  of  an  incursion.  Even  in  the  very  earliest 
times,  Terzburg  seems  to  have  been  a  chosen  point 
of  defence,  and  it  is  said  to  take  its  German  name 
of  Diedrichstein  from  Theodoric,  the  chief  of  the 
order  of  German  knights,  to  whom  the  whole  of 
this  district  was  given  by  King  Andreas,  on  condi- 
tion of  their  defending  the  frontiers.  The  many 

VOL.  n.  B  B 


castles,  often  in  ruins,  with  which  the  Burzen-land — 
as  this  portion  of  the  Saxon-land  is  called,  from  the 
little  river  Burze,  which  flows  through  it — abounds, 
are  generally  referable  to  this  period;  but  that  of 
Terzburg,  at  least  as  it  now  stands,  has  a  later 

We  gained' the  interior  of  the  castle  by  a  small 
portal,  nearly  half  way  up  the  tower.  A  fixed 
wooden  stair  now  leads  to  this  opening,  though  it 
was  formerly  to  be  reached  only  by  a  ladder,  which 
was  always  drawn  up  at  night.  The  ancient  door, 
cased  in  iron,  still  exists.  It  is  constructed  like  a 
drawbridge,  and  lets  down  by  iron  chains,  so  as  to 
form  a  landing-place  before  the  entrance.  A  little 
court-yard  occupies  the  centre  of  the  building,  and, 
as  usual,  it  is  surrounded  by  open  galleries,  commu- 
nicating with  the  different  apartments.  Everything 
remains  in  its  pristine  state,  though  some  of  the 
parts  are  no  longer  applied  to  their  original  pur- 
poses. One  strong  bastion  has  been  made  into  a 
hen-roost,  a  respectable-looking  tower  is  treated 
even  less  respectfully,  port-holes  serve  to  trundle 
mops  in,  and  dishcloths  hang  where  spears  were 
wont  to  rest.  The  rooms  are  small  and  almost 
without  ornament.  On  the  whole,  I  was  much 
pleased  with  Terzburg ;  for  although  there  is  little 
to  describe,  there  are  few  old  castles  which  give 
one  a  better  idea  of  the  times  when  they  were 
erected,  or  of  the  manner  of  life  for  which  they 
were  adapted,  than  Terzburg. 


W was  up  on  our  return ;  and  after  taking 

coffee  with  this  homely  Armenian  family,  we 
mounted  our  ponies,  and  set  off  for  Bucses.  Just 
on  the  other  side  of  the  castle  we  found  the  quaran- 
tine establishment  for  travellers  coming  from  Tur- 
key ;  for  though  the  confines  of  Transylvania  really 
extend  foul*  hours  beyond  this  point,  yet  that  part 
is  considered  in  sporco,  and  its  inhabitants  are  not 
allowed  to  pass  without  undergoing  quarantine. 
The  inhabitants  of  this  district,  extra  terminos,  are 
a  strange  wild  set  of  creatures,  originally  settlers 
from  Wallachia,  and  as  near  as  possible  to  a  state  of 
barbarism.  They  are  called  Kalibaschen  from  the 
Kaliban,  or  huts  in  which  they  live,  and  are  subject 
to  the  jurisdiction  of  the  commander  of  the  castle 
of  Terzburg.  They  live  chiefly  by  the  pasturage  of 
cattle,  for  which  these  mountains  and  valleys  offer 
a  tolerable  supply ;  and,  although  we  were  told  they 
had  been  much  improved  of  late  years,  and  had 
even  been  collected  into  villages,  yet  in  appearance 
they  are  little  less  wild  than  the  bears  and  wolves, 
their  only  neighbours. 

We  took  an  officer  of  the  quarantine  with  us 
to  protect  us  from  detention  on  our  return ;  and 
pushing  on  for  a  short  distance  along  the  regular 
road  which  conducts  from  Kronstadt  to  Kimpo- 
lung  over  the  pass  of  Terzburg,  we  soon  devi- 
ated to  the  east,  and,  following  the  course  of  a 
shallow  brook,  made  its  stony  bed  our  road  for  the 
first  hour.  We  were  next  obliged  to  ascend  the 

B  B  2 

372  A  MOUNTAIN    PASS. 

mountain  by  a  zig-zag  path,  worked  out  by  the  feet 
of  the  sheep  and  cattle  which  browse  along  its  sides. 
About  two-thirds  up  we  found  a  narrow  pathway, 
which  conducted  us   along  the   steep  sides  of  the 
mountain,  and  which  was  eventually  to  be  our  road 
across  the  frontier.     For   three  hours  did  we  tra- 
verse these  rocks — of  course,  only  at  a  foot  pace, 
for  the  road  was  rarely  more  than  two  feet  wide, 
and  often  less — sometimes  proceeding  through  deep 
hanging  woods,  sometimes  along  the  edges  of  bare 
precipices,  which  it  made  one  dizzy  to  look  down. 
Our  ponies  were  weak ;  and  though  accustomed  to 
the  mountains,  by  no  means  equal  to  the  difficulties 
of  such  a  road  as  this.     The  heat,  however,  was  so 
oppressive,  and  rendered  us  so  indisposed  for  exer- 
tion, that  we  preferred  the  dangers  of  riding  to  the 
trouble  of  a  safer  means  of  advancing.    I  had  nearly 
paid  dearly  for  my  laziness.    As  my  horse  was  pick- 
ing his  way  over  a  very  difficult  place  where  a  gap 
occurred  in  the  rocks,  and  where  he  had  nothing 
but  their  smooth   surfaces   to  fix  his  feet   on,  he 
slipped  and   fell.     Luckily   I  was  cool    enough    to 
give  him  his  head,  and  remain  perfectly  still :  the 
poor   beast,  too,  kept  his  balance,  and,  aware  of 
his   danger,    instead    of  all    the    rush    and    bustle 
which  a  horse  commonly  makes  in  recovering  him- 
self, he  quietly  pushed  himself  up  with  his  nose, 
raised  one   leg,  felt  about  till   he  was  sure  of  a 
safe   footing,    and    then    slowly   moved    the  other. 
Had  either  of  us  swerved  but  the  merest  trifle  to 


one  side,  our  lives  must  have  paid  for  it.  As  a  mass 
of  stone  loosened  by  our  fall  was  rolled  over  the 
edge  of  the  precipice,  and  bounded  from  rock  to 
rock  till  it  was  lost  in  the  mass  of  black  pines 
which  filled  up  the  bottom  of  the  ravine,  I  could 
not  help  feeling  a  little  uncomfortable  at  the  pro- 
spect I  had  just  had  of  making  a  similar  excursion. 
Nevertheless  I  continued  to  ride  on ;  for,  as  I  said 
before,  the  heat  was  oppressive,  and  the  chance  of  a 
broken  neck  was  at  the  moment  less  disagreeable 
than  the  trouble  of  exertion. 

We  passed  a  fine  flock  of  sheep,  consisting  of 
several  hundreds  of  the  long-woolled,  curly-horned 
sheep  of  Transylvania,  which  were  on  their  road 
to  pasture  in  Wallachia  for  the  winter.  These 
sheep  were  the  property  of  a  rich  peasant.  It  is  no 
uncommon  thing  here,  to  send  sheep  or  cattle  not 
only  into  Wallachia,  but  even  across  the  Danube 
into  Turkey  for  winter  grazing;  so  great  a  difference 
is  there  in  the  severity  of  the  climate  on  the  north 
and  south  sides  of  this  part  of  the  Carpathians. 

As  we  gained  the  frontier,  which  is  on  the  very 
summit  of  this  mountain  ridge,  and  which  is  marked 
by  a  modest  wooden  cross,  we  had  an  extensive 
view  over  the  Burzen-land,  and  even  over  some  part 
of  the  Szekler-land.  The  Wallachian  sentry,  who 
had  left  his  solitary  post  to  fetch  water  from  a  neigh- 
bouring spring, — and  a  very  odd  spring  that  is,  too, 
—  hastened  back  as  he  observed  our  approach,  not, 
as  we  feared,  to  oppose  our  passage,  but  to  pay  us 


the  compliment  of  a  military  salute,  and  beg  some- 
thing for  his  trouble.  A  pair  of  tight  woollen  trou- 
sers, a  shirt,  and  sheep-skin  cap,  formed  his  uni- 
form, a  cross-belt,  and  a  well-cleaned  musket,  his 
accoutrements.  His  guard-room  was  a  sorry  shed 
formed  of  branches  of  trees  and  a  few  logs ;  his 
rations  a  little  Indian  corn.  The  guard  ought  to 
consist  of  six  men ;  but  his  comrades,  he  said,  were 
gone  out  hunting.  A  chamois  or  a  roebuck  must 
form  an  acceptable  addition  to  their  meagre  fare. 
These  men  belong  to  the  Wallachian  frontier  guard, 
and  are  intended  to  protect  the  country  from  border 
robbers,  and  to  prevent  smuggling ;  though,  indeed, 
where  the  duty  is  only  five  per  cent,  as  in  Walla- 
chia,  that  is  little  to  be  feared.  How  far  their 
organization  extends,  or  what  similarity  they  may 
present  to  those  on  the  other  side,  I  was  not  able  to 

The  greater  part  of  the  pine  forests  which  once 
covered  the  mountain  we  were  now  descending,  on 
the  Wallachian  territory,  presented  an  extraordi- 
nary spectacle.  During  a  tremendous  storm  which 
occurred  some  twenty  years  ago  among  these  moun- 
tains, the  whole  forest  had  been  swept  down  by  a 
gust  of  wind — not  singly,  but  in  one  mass — and  there 
lie  still  the  prostrate  trunks,  bared  of  their  bark  and 
whitened  in  the  sun,  covering  the  whole  mountain 
side  with  their  ruins,  and  looking  as  if  they  were 
cut  down,  stripped,  and  laid  out  ready  for  removal. 
Whether  they  had  been  broken  off,  or  uprooted,  we 

VALLEY    OF   BUCSES.  375 

were  too  far  off  to  distinguish  ;  probably  the  latter, 
as  the  soil  was  thin,  and  the  pine  is  more  apt  to 
spread  its  roots  than  strike  them  deeply  into  the 
soil.  It  is  not  impossible  that  some  of  those  half- 
fossilized  forests  buried  in  our  bogs,  as  well  as  the 
bogs  themselves,  have  been  thus  formed.  It  is  no 
argument  to  the  contrary,  that  we  never  experience 
storms  capable  of  producing  such  effects  at  the 
present  day ;  for  in  a  country  cultivated  as  ours  is, 
its  forests  opened,  its  morasses  drained,  and  its 
whole  climate  consequently  modified,  we  have  no 
idea  of  what  the  winds  are  capable  of  in  the  wild 
mountains  and  trackless  plains  of  such  a  district  as 
this  :  —  in  England  civilization  has  tamed  the  very 
elements ! 

An  hour's  descent  on  the  Wallachian  side  brought 
us  to  the  bottom  of  the  first  valley,  where  a  clear 
rivulet,  the  course  of  which  we  followed,  led  us  on 
to  a  second,  which  was  terminated  by  a  narrow  cleft 
of  the  rocks,  something  like  what  we  have  already 
seen  in  the  Thordai  Hasadek,  and  the  cavern  of 
Almas.  Here,  almost  for  the  first  time  since  we 
had  left  Terzburg,  did  we  meet  with  a  sign  of  man's 
domination.  At  the  entrance  to  the  cleft,  a  fence 
of  firs  and  a  little  gate,  showed  that  there  was 
something  within  considered  worth  protection ;  and 
a  small  cross,  placed  at  the  risk  of  life  on  the  very 
highest  pinnacle  of  the  rock,  looked  as  though 
gratitude  to  the  Dispenser  of  that  something,  had 
been  there  to  hallow  the  possession.  We  passed  the 



gate,  and  mounting  a  steep  and  narrow  foot-path, 
soon  came  in  sight  of  the  cavern  and  hermitage 
of  Bucses. 

And  is  it  possible  that  any  human  beings  can 
have  selected  so  wild  and  solitary  a  spot  as  this, 
for  their  residence  ?  —  was  the  inquiry  of  all  when 
we  first  caught  a  glimpse  of  the  gaping  cave,  and  of 
the  small  line  of  white  buildings,  which  encloses  it 
from  without.  Our  guide  soon  furnished  an  answer 
to  the  question  ;  for  he  knocked  so  loudly  at  the 
little  door,  that  an  old  monk  speedily  answered  the 
summons;  and,  learning  the  object  of  our  visit, 
welcomed  us  in  Wallachian,  and  invited  us  to 


enter  the  callugcrie  or  hermitage.  In  the  inte- 
rior, under  the  arched  vault  of  the  cavern,  we 
found  a  small  Greek  chapel,  and  two  other  low 
buildings  of  wood,  containing  cells  for  seven  or 
eight  hermits. 

At  the  present  time  there  were  only  three  of 
them  at  home — two  old  men,  whose  grey  beards 
we  took  as  testimonies  to  their  virtue,  and  one 
neophyte,  a  half-cunning,  half-foolish-looking  lad 
of  sixteen.  One  of  them  was  busily  employed 
in  superintending  the  boiling  of  a  pot,  which 
hung  from  three  sticks,  over  a  wood  fire  in  the 
open  air,  and  formed  their  only  kitchen,  while 
another  was  cutting  mushrooms  and  some  other 
species  of  fungus*  into  slices,  and  hanging  them 
up  to  dry.  I  at  first  imagined  all  this  prepa- 
ration was  for  making  Schwamm  for  tinder;  but 
no,  it  was  a  winter  stock  of  provisions  they  were 
laying  up.  Our  friend  assured  us  that,  except 
this  dried  fungus  and  Indian  corn,  and  a  little 
goat's  milk,  these  men  probably  tasted  nothing  but 
water  the  whole  winter  through,  and  they  were 
happy  when  they  had  a  sufficiency  of  these.  In 
summer,  the  shepherds  sometimes  bring  them  fresh 
food,  and  they  themselves  collect  fruits  and  roots 
among  the  mountains  near ;  but  their  chief  support 

*  On  the  Continent  several  species  of  fungus  are  used  in 
cookery,  beside  the  mushroom,  which,  if  not  so  delicate,  are  still 
well  worth  attention.  One  of  these  reaches  the  size  of  an 
ordinary  plate,  and  cannot  weigh  less  than  a  pound. 


is  derived  from  the  proceeds  of  their  begging,  in 
the  form  of  maize,  with  which  the  wanderers  re- 
turn in  autumn.  All  they  could  offer  us  to  aid 
our  own  supplies,  was  some  of  this  fungus  toasted, 
with  a  little  grease  and  salt.  The  fungus  was 
decidedly  good,  as  far  as  it  went,  though  I  believe 
we  could  have  eaten  up  the  whole  store,  without 
feeling  satisfied. 

The  cave  of  Bucses,  though  high  and  fine,  is  not 
extensive ;  at  least,  it  is  not  possible  to  penetrate 
more  than  a  hundred  yards  from  its  entrance, 
however  much  farther  it  may  really  go.  The  monks 
pointed  out  to  us  the  opening  in  the  direction 
in  which  the  rest  of  the  cavern  extends,  and  by 
which  a  small  brook  makes  its  way  out  to  the 
day;  but  they  have  blocked  it  up  so  high,  to  ren- 
der their  cave  warmer,  that  it  is  no  longer  possible 
to  reach  it. 

After  looking  at  everything  within  the  hermit- 
age— the  simple  church,  the  yet  simpler  dwell- 
ings, and  the  most  simple  dwellers  therein — and 
after  partaking  of  their  rude  fare,  we  left  guides 
and  horses  to  their  rest,  and  wandered  out  into 
the  valley  to  admire  the  extraordinary  and  savage 
beauty  of  the  scene.  Immediately  about  the 
cavern  the  rocks  assumed  the  form  of  bold  cliffs; 
on  the  opposite  side,  a  high  pinnacle  of  rock  raised 
its  cross-crowned  head  to  the  skies,  and  further  on 
the  black  pine  covered  the  mountain  sides,  and 
rendered  the  valley  dark  and  sombre.  The  stream 



which    separates 
the  two  sides  of 
the        mountain 
forms    a   succes- 
sion     of      such 
beautiful      little 
water-falls,   with 
their  glassy  clear 
green   basins    a- 
bove,  and  white 
foaming       spray 
below,     that      I 
could  have  spent 
hours  in  watch- 
ing them.      Re- 
clining on  a  soft 
mossy  bank  by  the  side 
of  one  of  these  falls,  I 
had    delayed   as  long  as 
possible,  under  the  plea 
of  getting    a   sketch    of 
this  scene,  when  a  noise 
of    quarrelling     at     the 

opening  of  the  valley,  called  me  away  to  see  what 
could  possibly  have  disturbed  the  repose  of  a  spot, 
which  I  had  supposed  the  residence  of  silence  and 
contentment.  Before  I  could  get  up,  a  change 
had  come  over  the  spirit  of  the  scene  ;  the  sounds  of 
quarrelling  had  ceased,  and  those  of  boisterous  mer- 
riment had  taken  their  place,  and  the  first  view  I 


got  of  the  picture  showed  the  whole  of  our  party  in 
a  full  chorus  of  laughter,  with  the  three  hermits 
standing  aside,  and  though  silent,  exchanging  most 
angry  looks  with  one  another.  W soon  ex- 
plained the  mystery.  It  is  the  custom  for  visitors  to 
give  some  trifling  sum  to  the  monks  in  return  for 
such  matters  as  they  can  furnish  them  with,  which  is 
joyfully  accepted  by  them,  and  put  into  the  common 

purse.     As  we  had  no  small  silver,  W had  given 

them  a  ducat,  and  to  render  the  present  less  osten- 
tatious, had  slipped  it  among  the  salt.  One  of  the 
elder  hermits  had  received  the  salt,  and  bowed  an 
acknowledgment  for  the  gift ;  the  surprise  of  W- 
therefore,  was  very  great  on  arriving  at  the  bottom 
of  the  valley,  to  find  the  two  others  following  with 
melancholy  faces,  and  soon  after  to  hear  their  com- 
plaints, that  we  had  given  them  nothing.  "  What, 
do  you  consider  the  gold  piece  I  gave  your  com- 
panion as  nothing  ?"  asked  W ,  angrily.  "  Gold  ! 

companion!"  burst  from  the  astonished  hermits, 
and  in  a  few  seconds  they  had  flown  to  the  cavern, 
dragged  out  the  offending  monk,  and  were  hauling 
him  by  the  collar  to  be  corrected  by  W ,  buffet- 
ing and  abusing  him  handsomely  by  the  way,  when 
I  first  heard  them.  The  change  to  a  laugh  may 
easily  be  understood :  — the  old  rogue  was  obliged 
to  disgorge  his  treasure,  and  we  were  left  to  reflect 
on  the  moral ;  —  the  which,  probably,  every  one 
turned  to  support  his  own  pet  theory  of  morals 
in  general.  Musing  on  such  matters  we  silently 


retraced  our  steps  through  the  wild  valley,  repassed 
the  sentinel,  and  were  again  on  the  narrow  moun- 
tain road  leading  to  Terzburg. 

The  sun  was  just  setting  as  we  crossed  the  fron- 
tier, and  we  had  still  a  long  ride  before  us,  with 
the  prospect  of  passing  a  considerable  part  of  it  in 
the  dark.  Notwithstanding  all  the  haste  we  could 
make,  darkness  overtook  us;  but  instead  of  in- 
creased danger,  as  we  had  feared,  increased  safety 
came  with  it,  for  the  horses  had  become  so  cau- 
tious, that  they  scarcely  made  a  false  step  the  whole 
of  our  ride  back. 

As  we  approached  the  rude  villages  of  the  Kali- 
baschen,  the  notes  of  a  very  simple  mountain  air 
were  borne  on  the  winds,  and  fell  so  soft  and  sweet 
on  the  ear,  that  we  could  scarcely  believe  ourselves 
in  such  a  savage  neighbourhood.  "  Ah  !"  said  Herr 

von  L ,  as  he  caught  the  sounds,  "  the  young 

Kalibaschen  lovers  are  not  inclined  to  lose  this  fine 
evening:  the  music  you  hear,js  from  their  Alpine 
horns,  and  is  an  invitation  to  their  sweethearts  to 
come  out  to  some  well-known  rendezvous  to  meet 
them.  The  Alpine  horn  is  the  Kalisbaschen's  sub- 
stitute for  billets-doux  and  waiting  maids."  We 
little  thought,  as  we  passed  these  savages  in  the 
morning,  that  they  had  been  capable  of  so  much 
poetry  ;  but  what  cannot  love  make  poetical  ?  Our 
friend  said  the  horns  were  the  same  as  those  used 
by  the  Swiss  peasants ;  and  he  described  them  as 
long  wooden  pipes  made  by  the  people  themselves, 


and  producing  very  harsh  sounds  if  heard  near.  It 
was  late  when  we  arrived  at  Terzburg;  but  the 
carriages  were  waiting  for  us,  and,  after  thanking 

Herr  von  L for  his  attention  and  politeness,  we 

pushed  on,  and  were  soon  deposited  at  our  inn  in 

Our  route  to  Hermanstadt  led  us  along  the  foot 
of  the  Carpathians  nearly  the  whole  distance.  In 
many  parts,  the  aspect  of  the  country  is  curious, 
for  the  secondary  ridges  and  valleys,  running  at 
right  angles  from  the  centre  chain,  are  most  nu- 
merous, and  present,  on  a  gigantic  scale,  the  idea 
of  ridge  and  furrow,  rather  than  of  a  succession  of 

We  passed  several  trains  of  waggons  on  the  road, 
heavily  laden  with  articles  of  luxury  from  Vienna, 
going  to  Kronstadt  and  the  neighbourhood.  Colo- 
nial produce  seemed  to  form  the  bulk  of  their 
contents.  Most  of  the  waggons  were  drawn  by 
twelve  horses  each.  We  were  much  struck  with 
the  number  of  fortified  churches  we  observed  in 
this  country.  Almost  every  village  churchyard  is 
surrounded  by  a  strong  wall,  with  battlements  and 
port-holes,  and  they  are  often  strengthened  by 
towers  and  other  means  of  defence.  The  history  of 
Transylvania  gives  but  too  clear  an  explanation  of 
the  causes  of  these  precautions,  and  their  frequent 
occurrence  brought  the  picture  of  former  times 
very  forcibly  before  us.  It  requires  little  imagi- 
nation to  conceive  the  wild  Moslem  hordes  pouring 


down  the  passes  of  the  Carpathians  —  perhaps  sent 
to  enforce  the  tribute  which  some  bold,  but  luck- 
less prince  had  ventured  to  refuse,  or  perhaps  urged 
by  the  love  of  plunder  only  —  sweeping  over  the 
smiling  plains  of  the  Harom-Sz£k  and  Burzenland 
and  driving  away  in  one  mingled  crowd  the  simple 
inhabitants  and  their  flocks  and  herds.  It  is  easy 
to  imagine  them,  as  these  incursions  become  more 
frequent,  raising  round  the  village  church  the  village 
fortress— the  watchman  taking  his  stand  on  the  little 
tower,  and  every  peasant  listening  as  he  drives  his 
plough  for  the  sound  of  the  alarm-bell.  The  first 
glimpse  of  the  turban  on  the  mountain-top  is  suffi- 
cient. The  warning  has  gone  out  —  and  now  the 
crowd  of  frighted  women  and  children,  the  pant- 
ing cattle,  and  the  anxious,  but  firm  peasants, 
headed  probably  by  their  humble  pastor — for  the 
Saxons  boasted  no  lordly  chivalry  —  all  bend  their 
hurried  steps  towards  the  consecrated  fortress.  The 
forces  of  the  enemy  are  composed  of  cavalry,  and, 
resistless  as  they  are  in  the  open  field,  they  find  the 
Saxon  peasantry  a  formidable  enemy  behind  their 
churchyard  wall,  for  they  are  ready  to  die  to  save 
their  wives  and  daughters  from  the  feared  and 
hated  infidel.  Exposed  on  one  side  to  the  Tartar, 
and  on  the  other  to  the  Turk,  this  beautiful  but  un- 
happy country  was  subject  to  every  misery  which  the 
warfare  of  savages  can  inflict  —  how  frightful  a  list ! 
Many  a  romance  of  real  life  must  these  villages 
have  witnessed  !  To  this  day  the  Transylvanian 

384  FOGARAS. 

mother  stills  her  restless  child  with  threats  of  the 
Tartars  coming — "  Ihon  jonnek  a  Tatarok  !"* 

We  got  no  further  than  Fogaras  that  evening, 
and  it  was  with  the  greatest  difficulty  that  we  could 
procure  any  accommodation  there.  I  think  the 
inns  are  worse  in  this  part  of  Transylvania  than 
anywhere  else,  notwithstanding  the  much  greater 
prosperity  of  the  country  in  general.  Perhaps  I 
remarked  this  deficiency  the  more,  because  I  stood 
the  more  in  need  of  their  accommodation  ;  for,  in 
crossing  a  small  river  in  the  dark,  the  driver  had 
managed  to  overturn  my  carriage,  and  I  had  got 
a  sound  ducking  in  consequence.  Although  inha- 
bited by  Saxons,  and  surrounded  by  the  Saxon- 
land,  Fogaras  belongs  to  the  Hungarian  counties. 
On  this  subject  the  Saxons  are  very  sore,  and  they 
say,  and  with  much  appearance  of  reason,  that  in 
depriving  them  of  this  district,  Government  has 
violated  the  conditions  of  several  grants  and  char- 
ters in  their  favour. 

We  reached  Hermanstadt  early  enough  to  walk 
round  its  pretty  promenades,  and  admire  the 
almost  Dutch  neatness  with  which  everything  is 
kept.  The  town  itself —  the  capital  of  the  Saxon- 
land  —  though  tolerably  well  built,  and  possessing 
a  handsome  square,  has  a  dull  and  stagnant  appear- 

*  It  is  said  to  have  been  an  amusement  of  the  Tartars,  to  set 
the  Hungarian  children  before  their  own  little  ones,  that  they 
might  exercise  themselves  in  cutting  off  heads — an  important 
practical  branch  of  Tartar  education. 


ance.  Hermanstadt  is  the  head-quarters  of  the 
commander-in-chief  of  the  troops  in  Transylvania, 
and  of  course  of  the  staff.  Several  departments 
of  the  Government,  as  the  Customs,  Post-super- 
intendence, &c.,  are  located  here,  but  notwith- 
standing these  helps,  Hermanstadt  is  not  what  it 
was.  The  overland  trade  through  Wallachia  has 
almost  disappeared,  and  with  it  the  best  days  of 

The  first  objects  we  visited  on  the  morning  after 
our  arrival  were  the  museum  and  gallery  of  Baron 
Bruckenthal.  It  has  always  been  one  of  the  pecu- 
liar privileges  of  greatness  to  choose  great  instru- 
ments for  effecting  its  purposes,  and  in  none  was 
this  more  remarkable  than  in  Maria  Theresa.  This 
prudent  queen,  setting  aside  all  the  prejudice  which 
exists  in  Transylvania  against  the  Saxons,  raised  for 
the  first  time  in  the  history  of  that  country,  a  Saxon 
—  Baron  Bruckenthal  —  to  the  supreme  adminis- 
tration. Hermanstadt  became  the  seat  of  Govern- 
ment. Bruckenthal  built  a  splendid  palace ;  formed 
a  large  collection  of  pictures,  and  a  very  valuable 
library  of  thirteen  thousand  volumes,  and  at  his 
death  bequeathed  the  use  of  them  to  the  public. 
We  found  the  pictures  scarcely  deserving  the  high 
character  we  had  heard  of  them,  but  they  are  quite 
as  good  as  those  found  in  many  second-rate  Ger- 
man and  French  towns,  and  they  are  well  worth 
attention,  as  they  form  the  only  collection  in  the 
country.  The  library  is  in  excellent  order,  and 

VOL.  n.  c  c 


most  freely  open  to  all  comers.  In  the  museum  we 
were  most  struck  with  the  specimens  of  washed 
gold ;  indeed,  it  is  probably  in  this  particular  the 
most  complete  existing,  and  contains  in  itself  an 
explanation  of  the  whole  subject  of  gold  washing. 
I  should  recommend  all  lovers  of  fine  scenery 
who  may  visit  Hermanstadt,  to  extend  their  ram- 
bles as  far  as  the  Rothen  Thurm  Pass,  one  of  the 
most  romantic  of  the  valleys  which  connect  Tran- 
sylvania and  Wallachia.  Not  that  I  did  visit  it  on 
the  present  occasion,  for  I  had  seen  it  before,  and 
the  recollection  of  ten  days'  dangerous  illness  spent 
in  the  quarantine  there,  was  hardly  an  inducement 
to  make  me  return.  The  valley,  however,  is  most 
beautiful,  the  rocks  are  bold  and  precipitous,  the 
woods  rich,  and  hanging  over  the  sides  of  the  moun- 
tains, and  occasionally  the  most  beautiful  green 
glades  intervene,  that  either  poet  or  painter  could 
desire.  It  is  by  this  beautiful  valley  that  the  Aluta 
makes  its  escape  to  the  Danube,  and  it  forms  one  of 
the  most  curious  instances  I  know,  of  a  river  passing 
completely  through  the  centre  of  a  vast  mountain 
chain.  At  present,  the  Aluta  is  of  little  value  ;  for, 
in  spite  of  the  orders  for  removal  of  mills,  by  the 
Prince  of  Wallachia,  its  course  is  entirely  obstruct- 
ed by  them.  Whether  this  river  could  ever  be  made 
navigable  as  far  as  Transylvania  I  much  question, 
— its  bed  is  for  miles  and  miles  nothing  but  a  suc- 
cession of  rocks,— but  in  Wallachia  itself,  it  will 
become  of  the  greatest  importance. 


I  scarcely  know  whether  I  ought  to  make  a 
digression  here,  and  tell  my  readers  something  of 
Wallachia  and  Moldavia,  or  pass  on  without  further 
notice  of  them ;  I  trust,  however,  I  may  be  allowed 
to  intrude  a  short  notice  of  these  Principalities ;  for, 
though  I  know  the  subject  may  be  called  foreign 
to  the  title  of  my  book,  yet  the  fate  of  these  two 
countries  has  been  so  intimately  associated  with 
that  of  Hungary,  and  for  the  future,  must,  I  believe, 
be  still  more  so,  that  a  few  words  on  the  matter 
may  not  be  thrown  away. 

Wallachia,  Moldavia,  and  Bessarabia,  lying  be- 
tween ancient  Poland,  Hungary,  the  Danube,  and 
the  Black  Sea,  have  in  turns,  for  many  centuries 
past,  acknowledged  the  supremacy  of  one  or  other 
of  the  great  powers  on  which  they  border.  Hun- 
gary, I  believe,  still  claims  a  right  to  the  suzerainty, 
though  Austria  yielded  up  her  claim  about  a  cen- 
tury ago  to  Turkey.  Of  late  years,  these  provinces 
have  been  governed  by  princes  nominated  by  the 
Porte  from  among  the  worthless  intriguing  Greeks 
of  the  Fanar.  By  the  treaty  of  Ackermann,  how- 
ever, Bessarabia  was  given  up  to  Russia,  and  with 
it  the  command  of  the  mouths  of  the  Danube ;  and 
still  more  recently,  Russia  has  extended  her  pro- 
tection— under  the  plea  of  similarity  of  religion — to 
the  other  two  provinces,  and  obtained  a  declaration 
of  their  independence  from  the  Porte,  in  which 
however,  Russia  and  Turkey  are  named  as  protecting 
powers.  By  this  act,  they  are  allowed  to  elect  their 

c  c  2 


own  princes,  vote  and  levy  their  own  taxes,  and  in 
fact  govern  themselves  entirely  according  to  their 
own  fancies,  provided  always,  that  nothing  is  done 
contrary  to  the  interests  of  the  protecting  powers. 
From  the  moment  this  act  was  signed,  Russia  has 
never  ceased  her  endeavours  to  extend  her  own 
influence,  and  destroy  that  of  Turkey  in  these  pro- 
vinces ;  they  now  seem  at  every  moment  in  danger 
of  falling  completely  into  her  hands.  Gratitude  for 
assistance  given  to  enable  them  to  escape  the 
Moslem  yoke,  at  first  rendered  the  extension  of  this 
influence  an  easy  task,  but  as  the  Wallachians  and 
Moldavians  began  to  feel  a  new  burthen  galling  their 
shoulders,  and  saw  that  every  day  bound  it  only  the 
more  tightly  to  them,  they  hesitated,  remonstrated, 
and  finally  positively  refused  to  support  it  longer. 
A  constant  series  of  acts  of  oppression  and  injustice 
had  rendered  the  morality  of  the  Boyars, — as  the 
nobles  of  these  countries  are  called, — both  private 
and  political,  a  subject  of  mockery  even  for  Rus- 
sians ;  but  the  insolence  of  Baron  Ruckmann, 
the  Russian  Consul-general,  has  found  the  means 
of  awakening  them  to  a  sense  of  their  duty,  and 
they  have  at  last  staunchly  refused  to  sanction 
acts  which  they  declare  contrary  to  their  rights 
and  liberties.  Of  course,  all  resistance,  except  that 
of  moral  power,  is  impossible.  Turkey  can  offer 
no  assistance,  and,  as  they  say,  "  England  and  France 
are  a  long  way  off." 

The  population  of  Wallachia,  Moldavia,  and  Bes- 


sarabia  is  almost  exclusively  of  Dacian  origin  ;  that 
of  the  two  former  provinces  amounts  to  nearly 
1,500,000,  that  of  the  latter  probably  is  not  more 
than  20,000.  I  have  travelled  over  a  considerable 
part  of  Wallachia  and  Moldavia,  and  I  never  saw 
two  countries,  of  their  extent,  so  rich  in  productions, 
so  fruitful  in  resources.  The  land  is  of  the  very 
richest  quality;  the  greater  part  of  it  an  alluvial 
plain,  like  the  Banat  of  Hungary,  with  a  climate 
the  most  favourable  for  production.  Yet  with  all 
these  advantages,  I  never  saw  a  country  so  thinly 
populated,  nor  a  population  so  excessively  poor  and 
miserable.  I  had  pitied  the  Wallacks  of  Transyl- 
vania till  I  saw  their  brethren  of  the  Principalities, 
and  found  that  there  were  those  who  might  envy 
them  their  lot.  Years  of  monopoly,  oppression, 
and  insecurity  have  worked  out  these  consequences. 
With  respect  to  Bessarabia  I  cannot  speak  from 
personal  observation,  except  of  that  part  which 
borders  the  Sulina  branch  of  the  Danube,  and  it 
is  little  better  than  a  vast  morass.  The  greater 
part  of  the  country  is,  I  believe,  of  much  the  same 
nature,  and  it  could  be  valuable  to  Russia  therefore 
only  in  as  far  as  it  gave  her  a  command  of  the 
mouths  of  the  Danube,  and  tended  to  make  the 
Black  Sea  a  Russian  Lake. 

My  readers  will  probably  see  now  why  Wallachia, 
Moldavia,  and  Bessarabia  concern  Hungary.  One 
of  them  is  already  in  the  hands  of  Russia,  and 
commands  the  only  exit  for  the  productions  of 


Hungary ;  the  other  two  are  ready  to  fall  into 
the  hands  of  Russia  whenever  she  chooses  to  seize 
them,  and  they  form  the  frontiers  of  Hungary  on 
the  east. 

While  I  am  writing  this,  the  news  of  a  great 
treaty  concluded  between  England  and  Austria  * 
has  just  reached  me ;  and  I  find  by  one  of  the 
articles  that  vessels  coming  from  the  ports  of  Wal- 
lachia  and  Moldavia,  are  to  be  received  on  the 
same  terms  as  if  coming  from  Austrian  ports. 

At  last,  then,  Austria  has  roused  herself  and 
engaged  England  fairly  in  the  cause.  The  meaning 
of  that  article  is  simply  this  : — "  Russia  shall  not 
extend  her  possessions  on  the  Danube  further  than 
she  has  done  already."  The  necessity  for  the  pro- 
vision is  absolute.  Hungary  possesses  no  port  on 
the  Danube,  that  is,  no  vessel  from  the  Black  Sea 
can  possibly  come  up  to  any  Hungarian  town  on 
the  Danube  and  discharge  her  cargo ;  if,  therefore^ 
Hungary  is  desirous  to  establish  an  outlet  for  her 
productions  by  means  of  the  Danube,  it  can  only  be 

*  Of  course  I  allude  to  the  commercial  treaty,  negotiated  with 
so  much  talent  by  Mr.  Macgregor.  It  is  with  great  regret  and 
astonishment  I  have  seen  a  question  raised  in  the  House  of  Com- 
mons about  the  meaning  of  the  article  referring  to  Wallachia,  and 
still  further  confusing  the  question  by  mixing  it  up  with  the  new 
Turkish  treaty.  It  has  been  asked,  if  Turkey  will  consent  to,  or 
if  Turkey  can,  extend  her  new  customs  to  the  Principalities. 
Turkey  has  nothing  whatever  to  do  with  the  Principalities  in  such 
matters,  they  are  entirely  free  to  make  any  regulations  or  treaties 
of  commerce  they  please  with  any  foreign  power. 


done  by  keeping  the  ports  below  the  Iron  Gates 
open  to  her  merchants.  This  has  been  threatened, 
first  by  the  duties  Russia  attempted  to  impose  on 
vessels  entering  the  Danube,  and,  on  the  failure  of 
that,  by  the  gradual  filling  up  of  the  Sulina  mouth, 
by  neglecting  the  cleansing  which  was  always 
carried  on  by  the  Turks,  and  latterly,  it  is  said, 
by  the  sinking,  as  if  by  accident,  of  some  flat- 
bottomed  boats.  This  scheme  was  again  threatened 
with  counteraction  by  the  formation  of  a  canal  or 
railroad  from  the  Danube  to  the  Black  Sea,  and 
it  was  therefore  but  reasonable  to  suppose  that 
Russia  would  exert  her  influence  with  the  Princes 
to  throw  still  further  impediments  in  the  way, 
much  as  it  would  have  been  to  their  injury.  There 
were  only  two  ways  of  opposing  this,  either  by  en- 
gaging England  in  the  maintenance  of  the  security 
of  these  provinces,  or  in  at  once  seizing  on  them 
herself.  The  first  has  been  adopted  for  the  pre- 
sent; let  us  inquire  if  the  second  may  not  be- 
come necessary  hereafter.  The  interests  of  Europe, 
of  humanity,  require  that  the  ambition  of  Russia 
should  receive  a  check:  I  will  not  waste  one  line 
in  arguing  a  proposition  which  is  not  questioned 
by  a  single  man  of  sense  and  feeling  in  Europe. 
She  is  preparing  the  way  for  future  conquest  in 
the  south  of  Europe,  and  to  these  conquests  Wal- 
lachia  and  Moldavia  are  the  high  road.  These 
countries  have  no  force  which  would  enable  them 
to  resist  her  invading  army  a  single  day,  nor  is 


it  possible  that  for  centuries  they  can  have :  they 
have  neither  the  physical  means  which  a  mountain- 
ous and  wooded  country  afford,  nor  have  they 
those  moral  aids  —  proud  historical  recollections, 
legends  of  liberty,  or  the  character  which  long 
habits  of  independence  give  —  and  which  have  en- 
abled small  knots  of  men  to  retain  their  place 
as  nations  when  threatened  by  the  most  power- 
ful with  extinction.  For  their  armies  they  have 
a  few  hundred  men  each — "not  for  fighting,"  as 
one  of  their  own  officials  told  me  ;  "  that  others  do 
for  us," — but  for  keeping  up  a  system  of  quarantine 
which,  as  far  as  possible,  destroys  their  trade  and 
cuts  them  off  from  all  communication  with  the 
Turks.  Independent,  therefore,  these  provinces  can- 
not be:  the  question  then  is,  to  whom  shall  they 
belong.  Turkey  is  not  only  unable  to  hold  them, 
from  the  ancient  hatred  they  bear  to  the  enemies 
of  their  faith,  but  the  extension  of  her  frontiers 
beyond  the  Danube  rather  tends  to  weaken  than 
strengthen  her.  No  one  who  is  anxious  to  save 
Europe  from  the  flood  of  barbarism  which  threatens 
to  overflow  her  from  the  North,  would  leave  them 
in  the  grasp  of  Russia.  Hungary,  then,  is  the  only 
power  which  could  hold  them  with  safety  to  her- 
self and  others.  Let  Hungary  offer  the  Principali- 
ties a  frank  union,  a  fair  share  in  the  advantages 
of  her  constitution,  and  an  equality  of  rights  and 
privileges,  and  I  have  no  doubt  the  Wallachians 
would  gladly  join  themselves  to  a  country  which 


could  guarantee  them  a  national  existence,  civil 
and  religious  freedom,  and  an  identity  of  material 
interests.  Hungary  too  would  gladly  accept  a  share 
in  the  trade  of  the  Black  Sea,  and  might  probably 
be  induced  to  give  up  her  claims  on  Gallicia  for 
such  a  compensation, — and  then,  with  constitutional 
Poland  reinstated  in  her  integrity  on  the  one  side, 
and  constitutional  Hungary  intervening  on  the  other, 
the  fears  of  invasion  from  absolute  Russia  would 
be  an  idle  bugbear  unworthy  a  moment's  fear; 
but  from  no  other  combination  can  Europe  ever 
be  safe. 

But  to  return  to  Hermanstadt  and  the  biedere 
Sachsen.  The  Hermandstadters  are  said  to  be  of 
Flemish  origin,  and  they  have  got  a  strange  notion 
that  the  extraordinary  dialect  they  commonly  con- 
verse in  has  a  strong  resemblance  to  English.  It 
might  have  been  Hebrew  for  all  I  could  understand 
of  it.  I  believe  there  are  not  less  than  seven  dis- 
tinct dialects  among  these  Saxons,  all  supposed  to 
have  been  derived  from  the  different  parts  of  Ger- 
many from  which  they  originally  came.  They  all 
spell  and  write  German  as  it  is  now  spoken.  Here 
as  elsewhere,  Luther's  Bible  has  formed  the  lan- 
guage after  its  own  image,  but  even  in  reading  the 
Bible  they  translate  it  into  the  common  dialect.  It 
is  a  common  joke  against  the  Saxons  to  ask  them 
how  they  spell  bqffleisch, — their  name  for  bacon, — 
and  they  answer  by  spelling  the  classical  German 
word  s-p-e-c-k,  calling  it  at  the  same  time  boffleisch. 


Even  in  the  pulpit  the  clergyman  reads  in  the 
vulgar  dialect. 

When  we  left  Hermanstadt  and  passed  through 
more  of  the  Saxon-land,  we  had  still  further  reason 
to  admire  the  habits  and  character  of  this  people  as 
exhibited  by  outward  appearances.  Never  in  my 
life  did  I  see  more  flourishing  villages  than  theirs ; 
even  the  Wallacks  who  have  settled  among  them 
have  caught  something  of  their  spirit,  and  look  al- 
most comfortable  and  happy.  The  houses  are  well 
built,  and  though  only  of  one  story,  they  are  always 
raised  some  feet  above  the  ground,  and  are  reached 
by  a  flight  of  steps.  The  gable  end,  which  is  turned 
towards  the  street,  generally  bears  the  date  of  its 
erection,  the  cipher  of  the  builder,  and,  according  to 
a  good  old  Puritan  custom,  a  verse  from  the  Bible, 
recommending  its  inhabitants  to  the  care  of  Provi- 
dence. The  people  were  well  dressed,  and  we 
passed  in  the  course  of  the  day  a  great  number  of 
smart  lads  and  lasses,  the  former  with  bunches  of 
flowers  in  their  broad-brimmed  hats ;  the  latter 
with  showy  jackets  and  their  hair  braided  and 
ornamented  with  flowers  most  tastefully. 

And  now,  reader,  we  have  passed  Reismark  and 
Miihlenbach,  said  adieu  to  the  land  of  the  Saxons, 
and  are  again  among  the  Magyars  at  Karlsburg 
in  my  favourite  valley  of  the  Maros.  I  have  no 
need  to  describe  our  route  any  further,  as  we  have 
passed  over  it  twice  before.  I  believe  we  have 
now  visited  the  greater  part  of  Transylvania,  very 


imperfectly  of  course,  and  I  can  safely  say  of  it, 
in  the  words  of  a  German  writer — "There  is  per- 
haps no  country  which  has  not  some  beauties  to 
exhibit,  but  I  never  saw  any  which,  like  Transyl- 
vania, is  all  beauty," — welches  so  wie  Siebenbiirgen 
ganz  Schonheit  ware.  And  many  as  were  the  little 
discomforts, and  inconveniences  we  have  been  ob- 
liged to  put  up  with,  we  have  managed  to  pro- 
vide against  them  tolerably  well.  While  writing 
up  my  notes  of  this  past  day,  I  cannot,  if  I  look 
round  me,  complain  of  any  great  misery,  or  at  least, 
I  cannot  feel  very  unhappy  about  it,  do  what  I 
will.  Krumme  Peter's  apartment  is  certainly  far 
inferior  to  his  entertainment,  but  it  contains  three 
beds,  and  the  servants  have  just  covered  them  with 
our  own  linen;  a  supper  of  roast  fowls  and  salad 
has  satisfied  our  hunger,  and  the  wine  is  neither 
sour  nor  weak  ;  and  now  that  I  see  Niklos  has 
filled  my  chibouque  with  choice  Latakia,  and  rested 
its  delicate  amber  mouthpiece  on  my  pillow,  mixed 
my  cool  draught  of  eau  sucrt  and  placed  it  with  a 
novel  by  my  bedside — why  I  believe  I  shall  go  to 
bed  and  read,  and  smoke  for  the  next  hour  in  as 
perfect  a  state  of  ecstasy  as  if  my  couch  was  down, 
and  its  hangings  of  most  costly  materials. 




Transylvanian  Hospitality.  —  Klausenburg. — Transylvanian  In- 
comes.— Money  Matters. — The  Gipsy  Band, — Our  Quarters. — 
The  Stove.— The  Great  Square.— The  Recruiting  Party.— A 
Soiree. —  The  Clergy.— The  Reformed  Church.  —  Religious 
Opinions.  —  The  Consistory.  —  Domestic  Service.  —  County 
Meeting. — Count  Bethlen  J£nos. — Progress  of  Public  Opinion. 
—The  Arch-Duke.— The  Students  and  Officers — Climate.— 
— Separation  of  three  Counties. — The  Unitarians. — Habits  of 
Society. — The  Ladies. — Education — Children  and  Parents. — 
Divorces. — Casino  and  Smoking. — Funerals. — Schools. — The 

WINTER   set  in  with  all  its  rigour,  and  we  de- 
termined to  remain  quietly  at  Klausenburg,  at  least 


for  some  time.  I  pass  over  the  presentation  of 
introductions  and  the  necessary  formalities  of  mak- 
ing acquaintance.  An  Englishman,  who  is  only 
accustomed  to  the  stiff,  though  well-meant  forms 
of  English  society,  can  have  little  idea  how  a 
stranger  is  received  here. 

The  first,  family  we  visited,  invited  us  to  take 
our  dinner  and  supper  regularly  with  them  when 
we  had  no  other  engagement.  "  You  will  find  few 
persons  in  Klausenburg  just  at  present  ;  the  inns 
are  very  bad,  and  therefore,  whenever  you  are  not 
engaged,  we  shall  expect  the  pleasure  of  your 
company  at  two  o'clock  for  dinner,  and  at  nine 
for  supper."  Nor  was  this  a  mere  ceremony  ;  for 
if  we  missed  one  day,  a  servant  was  sure  to  come 
the  next  to  invite  us.  With  such  a  reception  I 
need  scarcely  say  we  soon  felt  ourselves  at  home  at 

But  I  believe  I  have  never  told  the  reader  what 
sort  of  a  place  this  Klausenburg  is.  Well  then  it  is 
a  pretty  little  town  of  about  twenty-five  thousand 
inhabitants,  situated  in  the  valley  of  the  Szamos, 
and  overlooked  by  hills  on  every  side.  It  is  built 
round  a  large  square,  in  the  centre  of  which  stands 
the  fine  old  Gothic  cathedral.  From  this  square, 
almost  all  the  streets  run  off  at  right  angles.  The 
streets  themselves 

taste,  and^the^  houses,  jhough  handsome,  are  often 
of  only  one  story,  and  never  more  than  two. 

The  old  walls,  gates,  and  towers  which  formerly 


guarded  the  town,  are  in  great  part  standing,  and 
I  believe  they  even  still  close  some  of  them  at  night. 
The  Szamos  does  not  run  through  the  town,  and 
it  is  well  it  does  not ;  for  it  is  a  strange  unmanage- 
able river,  and  might  carry  it  away  in  some  of  its 
sudden  inundations.  On  the  opposite  side  of  it, 
however,  there  exists  a  part  of  Klausenburg,  if  such 
a  title  can  be  given  to  a  collection  of  miserable  huts, 
which  cover  the  side  of  the  hill.  They  are,  for  the 
most  part,  holes  scraped  out  of  the  soft  sandstone 
rock,  with  a  little  projecting  thatch  over  the  door. 
This  wretched  place  is  inhabited  by  gipsies  and 
dogs.  1  unite  the  two,  because,  in  an  excursion 
I  made  into  this  region,  I  found  more  of  the  latter 
than  the  former,  and  it  was  not  without  some  diffi- 
culty that  I  escaped  from  them. 

Though,  generally  speaking,  Klausenburg  can 
lay  no  claim  to  figure  as  a  European  capital,  yet 
it  possesses  some  few  houses  which  would  make  a 
respectable  appearance  in  London  or  Paris.  It  is 
very  rare,  however,  that  their  owners  occupy  the 
whole  of  them,  —  a  part  is  generally  let  off  to 
others.  Although  many  of  the  Transylvanian  nobles 
have  immense  estates,  including  twenty  or  thirty 
villages,  there  are  very  few  of  them  who  are  not 
deeply  in  debt,  and  very  much  harassed  for  ready 
money.  Six  per  cent,  is  the  maximum  of  legal 
interest,  but  ten  is  more  generally  paid  for  loans. 
In  matters  of  business  the  generality  of  the  Tran- 
sylvanians  are  mere  children.  There  is  not  one  in 



fifty  who  can  tell  you  the  amount  of  his  own  in- 
come or  expenditure.  You  are  often  surprised  to 
hear  a  man  of  ten  thousand  acres,  talk  of  receiving 
only  seven  or  eight  hundred  pounds  a-year  in  rents, 
and  you  are  still  more  surprised  when  you  hear  that 
so  small  a  sum  maintains  such  a  household  as  you 
see  him  keeping  up.  On  inquiring  a  little  further 
into  the  matter,  you  find  he  has  not  calculated 
as  income  or  expenditure,  all  the  corn  and  hay 
his  twenty  or  thirty  horses  consume,  all  the  game, 
poultry,  fruit,  bread,  wine,  and  fire-wood,  used  in 
the  family :  "  Oh !  that  is  nothing,"  he  answers,  if 
reminded  of  these  matters ;  "  that  all  comes  from 
my  own  estates."  He  reckons  income  what  he  re- 
ceives in  hard  cash ;  expenditure,  what  he  lays  out 
in  hard  cash. 

In  all  Transylvania  there  is  not  a  single  banker. 
A  retail  tradesman,  who  has  very  large  affairs  with 
Pest  and  Vienna,  will  give  money  on  bills,  and  un- 
dertakes the  transmission  of  considerable  sums,  for 
a  per  centage;  but  of  regular  bankers  there  are 
none.  Even  this  person  will  not  receive  deposits 
of  money,  unless  paid  five  per  cent,  for  keeping 
them ;  for  he  says  they  are  of  no  use  to  him — he 
can  do  nothing  with  them.  Imperfect  laws,  which 
render  the  recovery  of  debts  difficult,  is  the  real 
source  of  this  inconvenience,  but  the  habits  of  former 
times  tend  much  to  keep  it  up.  When  the  country 
was  subject  to  civil  war,  or  to  Turkish  invasion,  it 
was  then,  as  it  is  still  in  Turkey,  considered  prudent 

400  GIPSY   BAND. 

and  economical  to  hoard  up  gold,  or  lay  out  large 
sums  in  plate  and  jewels,  so  that  in  case  of  an 
attack,  they  might  be  easily  hidden,  or  carried  off. 
The  same  feeling  still  exists  here,  and  it  is  not  un- 
common for  ladies  with  an  income  of  five  hundred 
pounds  per  annum,  to  possess  more  jewels  than  an 
Englishwoman  of  ten  or  twenty  times  that  fortune 
would  dream  of.  The  quantities  of  pearls  and 
diamonds  with  which  some  of  the  Hungarian  ladies 
load  their  national  costume,  is  quite  out  of  all  pro- 
portion ;  to  me  they  forcibly  recalled  the  bead- 
decked  dresses  of  the  savages  of  the  South  Sea 
Islands, — Heaven  defend  me,  though,  should  they 
hear  that  I  have  said  so  ! 

At  one  of  the  first  dinner  parties  to  which  we 
were  invited,  the  attendance  of  the  gipsy  band  was 
ordered,  that  we  might  hear  some  of  the  Hungarian 
music  in  its  most  original  form.  The  crash  of  sound 
which  burst  upon  us,  as  we  entered  the  dining- 
room,  was  almost  startling;  for  be  they  where 
they  may,  gipsy  musicians  make  it  a  point  to  spare 
neither  their  lungs  nor  arms,  in  the  service  of  their 
patrons.  This  band  was  one  of  the  best  in  the 
country,  and  consisted  of  not  less  than  twenty  or 
thirty  members,  all  of  whom  were  dressed  in  smart 
hussar  uniforms,  and  really  looked  very  well.  Few 
of  them,  if  any,  knew  notes,  yet  they  executed 
many  very  difficult  pieces  of  music  with  consider- 
able accuracy.  The  favourite  popular  tune  the 
Rakotzy, — the  Magyar  "  Scots  wha  hae," — was  given 



with  great  force.  I  am  more  than  ever  convinced 
that  none  but  a  gipsy  band  can  do  it  full  justice. 
The  effect  of  the  melancholy  plaintive  sounds  with 
which  it  begins,  increased  by  the  fine  discords  which 
the  gipsies  introduce,  and  of  the  wild  burst  of  passion 
which  closes  it,  must  depend  as  much  on  the  manner 
of  its  execution  as  on  the  mere  composition.  It 
is  rather  startling  to  the  stranger,  on  arriving  at 
Klausenburg,  that  no  sooner  is  he  lodged  in  his  inn, 
than  he  receives  a  visit  from  this  gipsy  band,  who 
salute  him  with  their  choicest  music  to  do  honour 
to  his  coming ;  and  it  is  sometimes  a  little  annoying 
to  find  that  he  cannot  get  rid  of  them  without  paying 
them  most  handsomely  for  their  compliment. 

In  December  we  left  the  inn,  and  got  into  very 

comfortable  lodgings,  in  the  house  of  Dr.  P , 

with  a  sunny  aspect  and  a  look  out  into  the  market- 
place. We  had  altogether  four  rooms,  for  which  we 
paid  four  pounds  per  month.  When  we  dined  at 
home,  which  was  very  seldom,  they  sent  us  in  a  very 
fair  dinner,  of  five  dishes,  from  the  casino,  at  twenty- 
pence  each. 

The  weather  was  intensely  cold,  and  we  were 
obliged  to  keep  large  wood-fires  in  the  stoves  all 
day  long.  The  windows  were  double,  and  the 
doors  fitted  pretty  well,  but  we  still  felt  it  ex- 
cessively cold.  We  were  fortunate  in  having  old- 
fashioned  stoves,  which  opened  into  the  room,  and 
which,  if  less  elegant,  are  much  more  wholesome 
and  comfortable  than  those  which  open  on  the 

VOL.  II.  D  D 

402  THE   STOVE. 

outside.  I  do  really  think,  of  all  unwholesome, 
uncomfortable  inventions,  the  modern  Austrian,  or 
Russian  stove  is  the  worst.  It  throws  a  tremendous 
heat  into  the  room,  of  a  kind  which,  to  those  un- 
accustomed to  it,  is  almost  sure  to  produce  head- 
ach,  and  at  the  same  time  it  offers  no  vent  for 
foul  air.  And  then,  as  to  regulating  the  heat,  that 
is  next  to  an  impossibility.  The  late  Emperor 
Francis  wittily  observed  one  day,  that  he  believed 
"it  required  as  much  talent  to  warm  a  room,  as 
to  rule  a  kingdom,"  and  I  really  think  he  was  not 
far  from  the  truth, — for  those  who  suffer  the  heat 
have  no  communication  with  him  who  makes  the 
fire,  nor  does  the  latter  ever  enter  the  room  to  judge 
how  far  the  heating  is  needed ;  in  fact  he  knows 
about  as  much  of  the  feelings  of  those  he  alter- 
nately starves  and  stews,  as  an  absolute  monarch 
of  the  wants  and  necessities  of  those  whom  he 
paternally  misrules. 

In  a  house  we  were  staying  at  for  some  time, 
the  daraband  —  fire-maker  —  was  deaf  and  dumb, 
and  all  he  could  be  made  to  understand  was, 
that  the  rooms  required  heating.  Whenever  this 
poor  fellow  wished  to  show  his  liking  to  any 
one,  he  always  did  it  by  keeping  the  stove  hot 
the  whole  day.  By  some  means  or  other,  it  ap- 
peared that  we  had  attracted  his  especial  favour, 
and  we  soon  found  ourselves  in  danger  of  being 
roasted,  from  pure  kindness. 

The  cause  of  this  daraband's  loss  of  speech  and 


hearing  is  curious.  Till  the  age  of  thirty  he  had 
full  possession  of  all  his  faculties ;  but,  at  that 
time  he  met  with  a  severe  fall,  which  is  supposed  to 
have  injured  the  brain,  and  which  left  him  quite 
deaf  and  dumb,  and  partly  idiotic.  When  very 
much  excited,  however,  by  passion,  he  has  once  or 
twice  been .  heard  to  speak,  and  that  too,  distinctly 
and  well,  but  immediately  afterwards  he  relapsed 
into  his  former  state. 

Those  who  love  looking  out  of  windows,  would 
scarcely  choose  Klausenburg  as  a  winter's  resi- 
dence. Even  in  our  great  square,  we  found  but 
little  variety.  The  old  cathedral  was  opposite  us, 
and  would  be  a  fine  building,  if  its  base  was  not 
obscured  by  shops.  There  is  a  shabby  pillar  also, 
intended  to  commemorate  the  visit  of  the  late 
Emperor  to  Transylvania  ;  and  these  are  the  only 
objects  of  architectural  pretension  for  the  eye  to 
rest  on.  As  for  variety  of  colour,  there  is  none. 
Everything  is  covered  with  snow;  the  hills,  the 
church,  the  houses,  the  square  itself,  are  all  snow, 
and  when  the  peasants  are  wrapped  up  in  their 
white  sheepskin  bundas,  they  look  like  snow  too. 

On  one  side  of  the  square  stands  the  guard-house, 
and  at  eleven  precisely  every  morning,  a  horrid 
noise  of  metal  drums  brings  out  the  Hungarian 
grenadier  guard,  —  and  splendid  fellows  they  are 
too  in  their  tight  blue  pantaloons,  rough  great- 
coats, and  bear-skin  caps — to  stand  shivering  in  the 
cold  for  half  an  hour  before  the  mystic  signs  of 

D    D    2 


changing  guard  can  be  got  through.  On  ordi- 
nary days  this,  with  an  occasional  variety, — as  a 
horse  falling  on  the  frozen  snow,  or  a  barking  clog 
startling  the  empty  square,  a  sledge  from  the 
country  with  its  four  horses  shaking  their  noisy  bells 
as  they  dash  along,  or  an  old  aristocratic  coach 
with  a  pair  of  long-tailed  prancers,  and  a  coach- 
man buried  to  the  nose  in  bear's  skin — is  all  that 
the  most  industrious  window-watcher  can  dis- 
cover. As  for  the  pedestrians,  they  do  not  de- 
serve looking  at,  for  they  are  all  alike,  a  mass  of 
fur  cloaks,  which  vary  only  in  their  being  held  more 
or  less  closely  to  the  figure,  as  the  weather  is  warmer 
or  colder. 

On  market-day,  indeed,  the  scene  is  somewhat 
gayer ;  the  square  is  filled  with  small  tents  and 
waggons,  where  the  peasants  are  displaying  for  sale 
their  hay  and  corn,  and  poultry,  and  fire- wood, 
and  exchanging  them  for  such  coarse  commodities, 
chiefly  cloth  and  leather,  as  they  require.  Brandy, 
too,  runs  away  with  a  large  part  of  their  profits ; 
and  few  of  those  whom  we  saw  so  keen  in  haggling 
for  a  kreuzer  in  the  morning  would  in  a  few  hours 
after  have  sufficient  sense  left  to  guide  them  home. 

But  the  greatest  variety  the  market-day  offers, 
is  the  recruiting  party.  Since  the  violent  disso- 
lution of  the  Diet,  and  the  refusal  of  the  counties 
to  levy  soldiers  without  a  vote  of  supply,  the  Go- 
vernment has  been  obliged  to  resort  to  recruiting 
to  fill  up  the  regiments.  Eight  or  ten  smart  young 


follows,  dressed  in  hussar  uniforms,  and  preceded 
by  a  gipsy  band  playing  the  national  airs,  pro- 
menade the  town  in  loose  order,  talking  and  laugh- 
ing with  all  they  meet,  and  looking  so  idle  and 
so  happy,  that  it  is  impossible  not  to  envy  them. 
Every  now  and  then  the  party  halts,  forms  a  circle, 
and  commences  what  is  called  the  Werbung,  or 
recruiting  dance.  It  is  performed  to  a  favourite 
Hungarian  air,  and  consists  in  slightly  beating  time 
with  the  feet,  striking  together  the  spurs,  and  oc- 
casionally turning  round,  the  whole  party  singing 
all  the  time.  While  this  was  going  on,  I  saw  one 
sly  fellow  quietly  steal  from  the  circle  of  dancers, 
and  walking  outside  the  group  of  open-mouthed 
peasants,  enter  into  conversation  with  them,  and 
cunningly  drop  his  most  dainty  baits  before  all  the 
fish  he  thought  likely  to  bite.  Some  of  the  wiser 
ones  turned  away,  or  pretended  not  to  hear  him, 
but  two  silly  gudgeons  were  nibbling  so  long,  that  I 
am  much  mistaken  if  they  were  not  hooked.  And, 
indeed,  it  is  no  wonder;  the  music,  the  dancing, 
the  national  uniform,  and  the  long  spurs — almost 
all  that  constitutes  the  pride  and  pleasure  of  an 
Hungarian  peasant's  life,  seem  within  his  grasp; 
and  when  to  these  are  added  the  fourteen  shil- 
lings smart-money,  it  is  enough  to  upset  the 
sternest  virtue.  The  Hungarian  peasant,  however, 
always  enlists  on  the  understanding  that  he  is 
to  be  a  hussar,  that  he  shall  have  a  horse,  and 
wear  spurs  and  blue  pantaloons;  and  bitter  are 


the  poor  fellow's  tears  when,  as  is  often  the  case, 
he  finds  himself  on  foot,  and  for  his  comely  national 
dress,  is  forced  to  assume  the  hated  breeches  and 
gaiters  of  the  Austrian  infantry. 

Our  usual  mode  of  passing  the  day,  after  the 
simple  breakfast  of  one  tiny  cup  of  coffee  and  a 
slice  of  bread,  was  in  writing  or  taking  lessons — 

S in  German,  and  I  in  Hungarian — till  two, 

which  is  the  common  dinner  hour.  From  five  to 
eight  or  nine  every  house  is  open,  and  we  gene- 
rally paid  our  visits  to  the  ladies'  drawing-rooms 
during  that  time.  At  nine,  we  found  ourselves 
hungry,  and  by  no  means  unwilling  to  encounter 
a  supper  little  less  ponderous  than  the  dinner,  and 
then  our  pipes  and  books  finished  the  day.  This 
was  the  first  time  in  the  course  of  our  Hungarian 
travels  that  we  had  found  any  real  inconvenience 
in  society  from  not  understanding  the  Magyar 
language.  In  other  places,  German  is  the  lan- 
guage commonly  spoken,  but  the  Transylvanians 
are  too  stanch  Magyars  for  that ;  and  I  even  know 
some  of  them  who  have  almost  forgotten  their 
German  from  pure  patriotism.  Twenty  years  ago, 
German  nurses  and  governesses  were  found  in  every 
respectable  house ;  now  French,  or  even  English, 
are  almost  as  common. 

A  soirte,  the  first  of  the  season,  at  the  Countess 

's,  to  which  we  were  invited,  laid  open  to  us 

something  of  the  social  habits  of  the  capital.  The 
invitation  was  verbal — they  seem  to  have  a  horror  of 

A   SOIREE.  407 

writing  notes  here — and  the  time  half-past  six. 
In  the  first  room  sat  a  crowd  of  young  ladies  with- 
out a  soul  to  speak  to  them,  save  a  stray  youth 
just  escaped  from  college,  or  some  good-tempered 
old  beau  who  had  taken  pity  on  their  destitute  con- 
dition. In  the  second  and  third,  were  the  usual 
complement  of  card-tables,  dowagers,  and  dandies, 
with  a  few  pretty  women,  still  in  the  prime  of  life, 
and  the  sole  objects  of  attention.  How  it  is  that 
this  rigid  separation  should  have  been  established 
between  the  maids  and  matrons,  I  know  not ;  but  I 
suspect  that  some  coquettish  mammas  were  prudent 
enough  to  think  that  a  separation  between  mother 
and  daughter,  at  least  in  their  cases,  might  be  for 
the  benefit  of  both  parties,  the  exhibition  of  mam- 
ma's flirtations,  un  pen  prononc£es,  being  scarcely 
adapted  to  improve  her  daughter's  innocence ;  and 
the  daughter's  fresh  colour  and  youthful  charms 
being  certainly  not  calculated  to  set  off  the  waning 
beauties  of  mamma.  The  refreshments  were  alto- 
gether exotic.  A  large  table  was  crowded  with 
tea-urns,  cups  and  saucers,  cakes  and  sweetmeats, 
bonbons,  ices,  a  large  bottle  of  ruin  to  take  with 
the  tea,  after  the  Russian  fashion,  and  I  know  not 
what  else,  of  tempting  delicacies  besides.  With 
some  amateur  music,  to  which  no  one  listened,  and 
some  honest  hard  waltzing,  in  which  all  took  real 
pleasure,  a  little  scandal,  and  a  little  flirting,  the 
party  broke  up  at  ten. 

With  the  exception  of  a  slight  tendency  to  the 

408  DANCING. 

over-gay,  the  ladies'  dresses  were  just  the  same  as 
one  sees  in  every  other  part  of  Europe ;  at  least, 
I  am  sure,  I  could  tell  no  difference.  Dancing  seems 
really  more  of  a  passion  here  than  I  ever  saw  it 
anywhere  else ;  and  the  greatest  misfortune  that 
can  happen  to  a  young  lady  is,  to  have  a  paucity 
of  partners.  A  lady  told  me  the  other  day,  that 
in  her  dancing  times,  she  remembered  well  that  she 
never  said  her  prayers  for  her  "  daily  bread,"  with- 
out adding  "  and  plenty  of  partners  at  the  next  ball, 
I  beseech  thee."  How  far  the  prayer  might  be  an 
appropriate  one,  I  leave  Theologians  to  decide ;  but 
I  am  sure  it  was  a  sincere  one ;  and  I  believe  the 
loss  of  the  daily  bread  would  not  have  appeared 
more  cruel  than  the  want  of  partners." 

On  calling  on  the  Baroness  B •  one  day,  we 

found  her  sorrowing  that  her  favourite  maid  was 
going  to  be  married." 

"  I  shall  never  get  so  good  a  hairdresser  again  ; 
and,  besides,  she  has  been  with  me  from  childhood ; 
and,  after  all,  she  was  much  better  off  where  she 
was,  than  as  the  wife  of  a  poor  clergyman." 

"  What ! "  I  asked,  "  does  a  respectable  clergy^ 
man  marry  a  lady's  waiting  maid?" 

"  Oh,  yes  !  It  is  the  same  gentleman  you  have 
met  at  my  house  in  the  country;  he  is  a  very 
honest  man,  and  thinks  himself  very  fortunate  in 
getting  her.  She  is  quite  as  well  educated,  and 
has  picked  up  rather  better  manners  than  the  ge- 
nerality of  those  to  whom  he  could  aspire ;  and, 


besides,  he  has  probably  some  hopes  that  we  may 
help  him  forward  in  consequence." 

"  Arid  shall  you  receive  your  former  maid  at  your 
table,  as  you  lately  did  the  clergyman  ?" 

"  Of  course  not :  he  will  come  as  usual,  whenever 
we  are  in  the  country :  but  his  wife  will  not  dream 
of  such  a  thing.  You  might  have  noticed,  that 
although  the  lower  ends  of  our  tables  are  crowded 
by  our  stewards  and  bailiffs,  and  dependants  of 
various  kinds,  their  wives  are  never  admitted." 

The  great  body  of  the  Protestant  clergy  of  Tran- 
sylvania are  derived  from  the  poorer  classes  of 
society,  as  the  peasants  or  small  tradesmen.  Those 
of  the  towns,  indeed,  are  often  the  sons  of  pro- 
fessors, merchants,  or  gentlemen  of  landed  property ; 
but  these  form  the  exception,  not  the  rule.  During 
the  period  of  their  education,  they  are  commonly 
maintained  by  assistance  from  the  lord  of  the  village 
to  which  they  belong,  by  the  charity  of  the  Pro- 
testant body  at  large,  or  from  the  funds  of  the 
college  itself.  The  latter  portion  of  the  time  they 
remain  in  the  schools  is  in  part  occupied  in  teach- 
ing, by  which  they  gain  something  to  help  out  their 
slender  pittance. 

The  government  of  the  Reformed  Churches  in 
Transylvania  approaches,  in  some  respects,  to  that  of 
the  Presbyterian  Church  of  Scotland.  The  whole 
body  of  Calvinists  is  divided  into  seventeen  circles, 
each  circle  being  governed  by  a  presbyter,  notary, 
two  laical  curators,  and  two  assistants.  The  eccle- 


siastical  causes  of  each  circle  are  judged  by  the 
presbyter  and  twelve  clerical  assessors.  The  ap- 
peal from  the  circle  courts  is  to  the  General 
Synod,  which  is  composed  of  the  bishop,  the  pres- 
byters, notaries,  two  clerical  deputies  from  each 
circle,  and  some  laical  deputies  from  the  Consistory. 
The  Consistory  is  the  great  council,  or  parliament 
of  the  Calvinists,  and  meets  twice  a  year  at  Klau- 
senburg,  to  decide  all  the  important  affairs  of  the 
Church.  The  Consistory  is  composed  of  deputies 
(patroni),  chosen  thus: — The  members  of  every 
church,  peasants  or  others,  meet  together  every  four 
years,  and  elect  two  of  their  own  body,  who,  to- 
gether with  the  clergy,  assembling  from  the  whole 
circle,  elect  two,  four,  or  five  deputies  (according  to 
the  size  of  the  circle)  to  the  Consistory.  Besides 
these  deputies,  the  Consistory  is  composed  of  the 
bishop,  first  notary,  presbyters,  notaries  of  circles, 
professors  of  colleges,  curators  of  circles  and  col- 
leges, and  all  the  lords-lieutenant,  privy  councillors, 
and  state  secretaries  belonging  to  that  religion. 
The  Consistory  chooses  from  its  own  body  four 
presidents,  of  whom  the  eldest  present  always  takes 
the  chair.  The  election  of  the  bishop  is  nominally 
made  by  the  Synod,  subject  to  the  approval  of 
Government;  but  the  first  notary,  who  succeeds 
to  the  bishopric  as  a  matter  of  course,  is  chosen 
by  the  Synod  independently. 

The  manner  of  nominating  to  a  cure  is  this  :— 
If  a  v*rllage  is  in  want  of  a  clergyman,  the  seigneur 

THE  CLERGY.  411 

nominates  some  qualified  person ;  that  is,  some 
one  who  has  gone  through  a  course  of  education, 
— like  that  described  in  speaking  of  the  college  of 
Enyed, — and  has  been  duly  ordained  ;  and,  if  he  is 
approved  by  the  bishop,  he,  with  the  consent  of 
the  Synod,  confirms  the  nomination.  If,  however, 
the  peasants  object  to  his  induction,  or  afterwards 
become  discontented  with  his  services,  the  bishop 
is  obliged  to  remove  him. 

The  salary  of  the  Transylvanian  clergyman  is 
commonly  very  small.  Besides  a  cottage  and  plot 
of  ground, — an  entire  peasant's  fief, — he  receives 
a  voluntary  payment,  the  amount  of  which  is 
agreed  on  beforehand,  in  part  from  the  lord,  and 
in  part  from  the  peasants.  It  is  rarely  that  this  is 
entirely  in  money.  The  peasants  commonly  agree 
to  give  a  tenth  of  their  corn  and  wine;  and  the 
lord,  to  a  certain  quantity  of  the  same  articles,  adds 
a  sum  of  money,  varying  from  eight  to  twelve 
pounds.  This  is  but  a  poor  pittance  for  a  man 
of  talent  and  education  ;  and  when  it  is  considered 
that  the  greater  part  even  of  this  depends  on  his 
pleasing  the  lord  of  the  village,  we  shall  not  be 
surprised  that  the  clergyman  of  Transylvania  does 
not  occupy  so  dignified  and  honoured  a  position 
as  he  ought  to  do.  Though  there  are,  undoubtedly, 
many  men  of  high  character  among  them,  as  a  class, 
they  are  commonly  spoken  of  by  the  nobles  as 
deficient  in  independence  and  self-respect.  Nor 
is  this  remark  to  be  confined  to  the  Protestants ; 


the  Catholics  are  equally  obnoxious  to  it.  The 
very  custom  of  admitting  the  priesthood  to  their 
tables  as  daily  guests,  amiable  a  trait  as  it  may 
appear  in  the  character  of  the  nobles,  without  treat- 
ing them  as  equals,  has  a  direct  tendency  to  con- 
vert them  into  dependents  and  flatterers.  Even 
the  higher  dignitaries  of  the  church  are  not  always 
free  from  the  like  animadversions ;  and  in  speaking 
of  ecclesiastical  causes,  of  which  they  are  the  judges, 
I  have  often  heard  men  of  the  highest  character 
say,  that  a  few  presents  and  a  little  cajolery,  will 
help  them  to  unravel  a  knotty  point,  or  solve  a 
conscientious  scruple  with  astonishing  rapidity. 

From  disregard  for  the  professors  of  religion  to 
a  disregard  for  religion  itself  is  but  a  short  step, 
and  I  am  sorry  to  say  it  is  one  which  is  often  made 
in  Transylvania.  It  is  a  common  thing,  among 
both  Catholics  and  Protestants,  for  the  best  in- 
formed of  the  young  people — the  old  cling  to  the 
faith  and  observances  of  their  forefathers  with  a 
fervent  and  sincere  attachment — to  speak  of  reli- 
gion as  a  useful  means  of  influencing  mankind,  of 
Christianity  as  a  beautiful  moral  system ;  but  there 
are  very  few  with  whom  I  have  spoken  seriously  on 
the  subject,  who  have  not  denied  its  Divine  origin. 
In  fact,  they  seemed  to  think  infidelity  itself  a 
proof  of  a  strong  and  enlightened  mind,  and  were 
astonished  that  any  man  of  sense  could  really 
believe  the  authenticity  of  miracles. 

As  might  be  anticipated  from  this  laxity  of  belief, 


bigotry  lias  few  devotees.  The  Catholic  party  is 
dominant,  and  those  more  immediately  favoured  by 
the  Court,  it  is  true,  are  somewhat  inclined  to- 
wards propagandism  ;  but,  with  both  parties,  religion 
is  more  a  part  of  politics  than  of  faith.  The  Pro- 
testants are  neglected  and  oppressed  because  they 
are  Protestants,  and  such  treatment  has  created 
among  them  a  considerable  bitterness  and  a  strong 
party  spirit.  Of  course,  this  is  not  to  be  wondered 
at ;  persecution  is  the  best  cure  for  indifference ; 
but  it  is  rather  startling  to  see  the  man  with  whom 
one  has  been  arguing  over-night  for  the  credibility 
of  Scripture,  the  next  morning  heading  a  meeting 
of  strong  Calvinists.  "  Why,  what  can  you  have 
to  do  with  the  Consistory?"  I  observed  to  Baron 

,  one  day  when  he  was  canvassing  for  a  full 

attendance  of  members  at  the  next  assembly, — 
"What  can  you  have  to  do  with  the  Consistory,  if 
you  don't  believe  in  religion  ?"  "I  may  not  believe 
the  dogmas  of  the  Reformed  Church,"  he  answered, 
"  and  yet  have  a  strong  conviction  that  the  princi- 
ples of  the  Reformation,  the  right  of  free  inquiry, 
and  the  duty  of  every  man's  forming  his  own 
opinion,  are  just  and  true.  What  I  contend  for 
now  is  the  independence  of  our  schools  and  colleges 
with  respect  to  any  interference  on  the  part  of  an 
absolute  and  Catholic  Government.  In  that  I  am 
as  Protestant  as  the  best  believer  amongst  them." 

T  have  been  sometimes  at  a  loss  whether  most 
to  admire  or  deprecate  the  treatment  and  position 


of  servants  here.  A  Transylvanian  servant  is  com- 
monly the  child  of  his  master's  peasant,  perhaps 
one  who  has  been  left  an  orphan,  and  bequeathed 
to  his  care,  perhaps  a  playfellow  of  his  little  master, 
who  has  been  taken  into  the  family  in  his  very  in- 
fancy, and  there  he  will  probably  remain  till  he  can 
serve  no  longer.  Their  wages  are  small, — of  course 
I  speak  of  the  generality,  the  very  highest  classes 
are  the  exceptions  everywhere, — those  of  footmen 
rarely  exceeding  four  or  five  pounds  a-year,  and 
grooms  and  coachmen  often  receiving  only  one;  but 
then  they  are  all  found  in  clothes,  linen,  and  wash- 
ing. If  a  female  servant  wishes  to  marry,  her  mistress 
provides  her  a  handsome  trousseau,  and  helps  to  fur- 
nish her  house ;  if  a  man-servant  marries,  his  wife  is 
very  likely  taken  into  the  family,  or  some  out-door 
place  is  found  for  him.  When  they  become  too  old 
to  serve  any  longer  there  is  no  idea  of  turning  them 
off,  but  they  are  commonly  sent  to  some  country 
house  at  a  distance,  and  maintained  there  for  their 
lives.  Some  gentlemen  have  dozens  of  these  old 
pensioners  quartered  on  different  estates ;  as  they 
say,  "  it  costs  us  but  little ;  for  the  expense  of 
transporting  the  corn  we  receive  in  rent  from  our 
peasants  would  hardly  pay  for  the  trouble,  and  it 
keeps  these  poor  fellows  very  comfortably." 

If  this  has  its  good  side  it  has  also  its  bad,  for 
I  never  saw  servants  more  negligent  and  dirty  than 
those  of  Transylvania.  I  believe  they  do  not  rob 
their  masters,  but  they  get  drunk  on  their  best  wines, 


lame  their  best  horses,  and  probably  disobey  their 
orders  five  times  out  of  ten.  Nor  do  I  think  the 
familiarity  with  which  they  are  commonly  treated, 
any  more  a  proof  of  respect  or  of  kindly  feeling, 
than  our  distance  and  reserve  of  cruelty  and  pride. 
The  more  nearly  the  servant  approaches  the  master 
in  his  rights  and  position  in  society,  the  more 
necessary  it  is  that  reserve  should  intervene  to 
keep  up  that  deference,  without  which  obedience 
can  hardly  be  expected.  But  when  the  servant 
is  of  another  caste,  and  can  never  approach  the 
sphere  of  those  above  him,  the  case  is  different,  and 
the  more  he  approaches  to  the  state  of  the  slave, 
the  more  he  is  treated  with  familiarity,  because  there 
is  the  less  danger  of  his  being  tempted  to  forget  his 
relative  position  in  consequence  of  it.  In  America 
the  negroes  in  the  slave-states  are  treated  with  in- 
finitely more  familiarity  than  they  are  in  the  others ; 
but  it  would  be  absurd  on  that  account  to  con- 
clude that  slavery  is  preferable  to  freedom,  or 
that  the  freeman's  master  is  more  cruel  than  the 
owner  of  the  slave.  In  Russia,  this  contemptuous 
familiarity  is  carried  to  a  still  greater  extent.  A 
princess  of  that  country  was  once  discovered  em- 
ploying her  footman  in  lacing  her  stays,  and  when 
remonstrated  with  by  her  more  civilized  visitor,  an- 
swered very  composedly,  "  What  can  it  signify  ?  lie 
is  only  a  servant."  To  a  modification  of  the  same 
feeling,  I  attribute  much  of  the  familiarity  with 
which  servants  are  treated  in  Transylvania, — the  very 


praise  of  a  good  servant,  that  "  he  is  faithful  as  a  dog," 
is  enough  to  prove  it ;  and  I  cannot,  therefore,  as 
many  writers  have  done,  from  seeing  it  in  other  parts 
of  the  Continent,  hold  it  up  to  admiration  or  imita- 
tion. The  good  servant  ought  to  be  too  much  re- 
spected by  his  master  to  be  treated  with  familiarity ; 
for  in  the  dependent  position  which  he  necessarily 
occupies,  it  could  only  degrade  him  to  a  mean  flat- 
terer, or  render  him  disobedient  and  careless. 

The  dislike  to  any  other  livery  than  their  na- 
tional dress  is  very  strong  among  the  servants 
here;  indeed,  to  such  an  extent  is  it  carried,  that 
those  who  wish  to  have  servants  in  livery  are  often 
obliged  to  hire  them  at  Pest  or  Vienna.  Except 
the  lady's  maid,  the  female  servants  are  commonly 
dressed  like  the  peasant  women,  and  wear  the  same 
substantial  boots  and  bundas. 

On  the  fifth  of  December,  there  was  a  meeting 
of  the  county  of  Klausenburg,  the  first  held  since 
the  dissolution  of  the  Diet.  This  looked  as  if  the 
Government  were  inclined  to  try  conciliation,  and 
we  heard  that  all  the  chiefs  of  the  liberal  party 
were  anxious  that  it  should  pass  off  with  the  great- 
est quietness,  but  that  they  were  resolved  at  the  same 
time  to  manifest  a  firm  adherence  to  their  rights. 
The  course  to  be  adopted  was  determined  on  at  a 
meeting  of  the  principal  nobles  at  the  house  of  Count 
Bethlen  Janos, — the  admitted  leader  of  the  liberals; 
— and  it  was  to  assemble  and  draw  up  a  protest 
against  the  dissolution  of  the  Diet,  and  all  the  sub- 


sequent  acts  of  the  executive,  and  then  to  separate, 
with  a  refusal  to  act  in  any  way  with  a  Government 
of  which  they  cannot  acknowledge  the  legality. 

The  meeting  took  place  in  the  hall,  formerly 
occupied  by  the  Diet,  and  which  was  still  fitted  up 
as  it  had  been  during  the  sittings  of  that  assembly, 
with  rows. of  benches  covered  with  green  cloth. 
The  Administrator,  the  substitute  for  the  Lord- 
lieutenant  who  had  resigned,  took  his  place  with 
fear  and  trembling ;  for  he  was  aware  how  strong 
the  opposition  was  against  him,  and  he  did  not 
probably  feel  quite  comfortable  as  to  how  the 
meeting  might  end.  After  the  clerks  had  read  over 
some  documents,  among  which  was  the  Imperial 
Ordinance  closing  the  Diet,  in  Latin,  Count  Bethlen 
Janos  rose.  Added  to  an  exceedingly  fine  counte- 
nance and  striking  figure,  Bethlen  Janos  possesses 
a  voice  of  greater  depth  and  sweetness  than  I  ever 
remember  to  have  heard.  His  manner  is  calm,  but 
earnest  and  persuasive  in  the  highest  degree.  He 
is  generally  accused  of  being  too  lazy  to  take  such 
an  active  share  in  public  affairs  as  his  talents  and 
eloquence  demand  of  him.  That  could  not  be 
charged  against  him,  however,  on  this  occasion.  He 
had  been  suffering  from  ague  for  several  months 
previously,  and  was  actually  under  the  influence  of 
the  fever  while  he  was  speaking. 

His  task  was  a  difficult  one.  A  considerable 
number  of  Szolga-birok,  magistrates,  who  had  been 
fairly  chosen  in  1833,  in  consequence  of  the  cessa- 

VOL.  II.  E  E 


tion  of  the  county  meetings,  had  not  been  able  to 
give  up  their  offices,  as  they  were  bound  to  do,  at 
the  end  of  the  year,  and  go  through  a  new  elec- 
tion ;  they  had  now  been  three  years  in  office.  All 
these  men  were  anxious  to  come  forward  and  re- 
sign ;  but  as  it  was  determined  that  nothing  should 
be  done,  of  course  their  re-election  could  not  have 
been  made,  and  probably  Government  would  have 
appointed  a  set  of  corrupt  bureaucrats  in  their  places. 
The  quiet  dignified  manner,  and  calm  reasoning  of 
Count  Bethlen,  seemed  to  have  its  effect.  Some 
of  the  friends  of  Government  tried  to  counteract 
his  wise  counsel  by  stimulating  the  more  uncom- 
promising of  the  opposition  to  a  violent  course- 
but  it  was  in  vain ;  the  moderates  carried  the  day. 
A  committee  was  appointed  to  draw  up  a  protest, 
and  the  meeting  adjourned.  Many  of  the  best 
speakers  had  been  drawn  off  by  similar  meetings 
having  been  called  together  in  several  other  coun- 
ties. After  Bethlen  Janos,  the  best  speakers  were 
Baron  Kerne* ny  Domokos,  Zejk  Joseph,  and  Count 
Teleki  Domokos.  The  speeches  were  generally  very 
short,  and  in  consequence  the  speakers  found  it 
frequently  necessary  to  rise  and  interrupt  in  order 
to  explain  their  meaning  more  fully,  which  pro- 
duced some  confusion  in  the  debate. 

Even  among  the  liberal  party,  different  opinions 
have  been  formed  as  to  the  prudence  and  wisdom  of 
the  extreme  measures  of  Baron  Wessele'nyi,  which 
led  to  the  violent  dissolution  of  the  Diet  on  the 


part  of  the  Government.  Many  of  those  who  had 
followed  his  steps  while  successful,  were  anxious 
to  escape  from  the  path  into  which  their  fears  and 
not  their  convictions  had  drawn  them.  Others, 
too  weak  to  oppose  the  torrent  in  the  height  of 
its  flow,  now  began  to  make  themselves  heard ; 
and  there  were  many  who  believed  that  a  more 
cautious,  if  less  direct,  course  would  have  been 
attended  with  more  favourable  results.  Perhaps 
these  opinions  are  right,  and  on  the  spot,  I  was 
much  inclined  to  agree  with  them  myself;  at  the 
same  time,  it  is  impossible  to  deny  that  the  prin- 
ciples of  Wessel^nyi  if  too  advanced  both  for  the 
Government  and  the  mass  of  his  countrymen,  were 
in  themselves  noble  and  high.  The  attempt  to 
carry  them  out  at  that  moment  may  have  been 
imprudent,  untimely ;  but  they  have  had  the  effect 
which  all  high  party  principles  have,  of  engen- 
dering sentiments  of  disinterested  nationality  and 
generous  devotion  to  the  public  good.  A  few 
years  ago,  Government  would  have  been  right  in 
counting  on  love  of  place  as  stronger  than  love  of 
principle ;  but  a  public  conscience  has  been  called 
into  action ;  he  that  could  get  the  most  was  not 
the  most  esteemed — and  as  was  seen  in  the  mo- 
ment of  action,  even  men  of  doubtful  conduct  no 
longered  dared  to  leave  the  straight  course,  so 
strong  was  the  public  feeling  against  any  derelic- 
tion from  public  duty.  For  this  the  country  has, 
in  a  great  measure,  to  thank  Wessele"nyi,  and  I 

E   E   2 


am  not  sure  that  it  is  not  the  greatest  boon  he 
could  have  conferred  on  it.* 

Nothing  can  be  conceived  more  uneasy  than  the 
state  of  society  here  at  the  present  moment.  Poli- 
tics have  completely  divided  the  most  intimate 
friends,  so  that  it  is  difficult  to  form  even  a  dinner 
party  without  bringing  opponents  together.  The 
Arch-duke  and  his  small  band  of  officials,  together 
with  the  whole  of  the  military,  are  sent  to  Coven- 
try by  the  greater  part  of  the  nobility.  Many 
ladies  not  only  refuse  to  attend  at  his  palace,  but 
will  not  go  into  society  where  he  is  invited.  Of 
course  this  has  no  tendency  to  soften  the  Arch- 
duke's feelings,  and  many  tales  are  afloat  of  the 
harsh  things  he  has  said.  That  he  is  a  most  dan- 
gerous enemy  of  constitutional  rights  is  beyond 
all  question.  Only  a  short  time  since,  in  answer 
to  a  remonstrance  from  one  of  the  most  moderate 

*  Later  events  have  still  further  confirmed  this  opinion.  The 
Transylvanian  Diet  was  called  together  again  in  1838,  at  Her- 
manstadt,  and  almost  all  the  points  formerly  refused  were  re- 
demanded,  and  finally  obtained  from  the  Government.  The  Diet 
firmly  refused  to  elect  the  Arch-duke  for  governor,  and  he  has  in 
consequence  left  the  country.  Many  of  those  gentlemen  who  gave 
up  their  places  on  the  dissolution  of  the  former  diet,  have  been 
re-elected  by  the  present  one,  to  still  higher  posts ;  the  election 
of  the  president,  and  the  publication  of  the  debates,  have  been 
yielded  without  opposition,  and  it  is  to  be  hoped,  that  in  future 
the  country  and  Government  will  cordially  unite  in  amending 
the  institutions,  and  ameliorating  the  condition  of  this  beautiful 
country.  The  first  act  of  the  Diet  was  to  appoint  a  commission 
for  the  reform  of  the  laws  affecting  the  peasantry. 


of  the  opposition,  on  the  illegality  of  some  ordi- 
nance just  issued,  he  observed,  "  Das  erste  Gesetz 
ist  des  Kaisers  Befehl, — the  first  law  is  the  Em- 
peror's will," — a  sentiment  too  absolute  to  find  an 
echo  even  within  the  walls  of  the  Seraglio. 

These  feelings  of  dislike  to  the  Court  and  its 
party,  have,  been  strongly  called  forth  by  an  occur- 
rence which  took  place  in  the  theatre  within  these 
last  few  days.  As  a  young  student  was  passing  out 
of  the  theatre,  at  the  same  time  with  a  number 
of  officers,  he  pushed  against  one  of  them — rudely 
in  all  probability,  and  not  quite  unintentionally, 
for  between  officers  and  students  there  is  a  great 
hatred, — when  the  officer  and  several  of  his  com- 
panions drew  their  swords,  attacked  the  unarmed 
boy,  and  wounded  him  severely.  In  England,  the 
officers  would  have  been  tried  for  murder;  here, 
they  were  commended  by  their  superiors,  and  the 
student  thrown  into  prison.  Now  though,  for  my 
own  part,  I  fully  agree  with  the  Transylvanians 
in  regarding  such  an  act  with  the  greatest  horror, 
it  is  but  just  to  the  Austrian  army  to  give  the 
reasons  by  which  they  attempt  to  justify  it.  If 
an  Austrian  officer  receives  an  insult  and  does  not 
avenge  it,  he  is  looked  upon  by  his  comrades  as 
a  coward;  if  he  fights  a  duel,  he  is  broken  by 
his  commander ;  and  therefore,  to  redress  his  own 
wrongs  the  moment  they  are  inflicted  is  the  only 
plan  by  which  he  can  escape  dishonour  or  punish- 
ment. It  is  still  difficult  to  conceive,  however,  by 


what  sophistry  it  could  be  considered  fair  to  use 
arms  against  an  unarmed  man. 

Towards  the  middle  of  January  the  cold  became 
excessive.  At  eight  o'clock  in  the  morning  of  the 
tenth  of  that  month,  the  thermometer  stood  at 
twenty-two  degrees  of  Reaumur,  or  fifty  degrees  of 
Fahrenheit  below  freezing.  This  is  a  greater  de- 
gree of  cold  than  has  been  known  at  Klausenburg 
for  many  years ;  indeed  it  is  colder  than  a  common 
winter  at  St.  Petersburg.  The  winter  in  general, 
however,  is  exceedingly  severe  in  Transylvania,  and 
I  know  no  better  instance  to  prove  how  much  other 
circumstances,  besides  the  latitude,  influence  the 
climate  of  a  country.  Klausenburg  is  thirteen  de- 
grees south  of  St.  Petersburg,  and  five  degrees  south 
of  London ;  yet,  owing  to  its  geographical  position, 
it  has  five  months  winter  of  almost  arctic  severity. 
The  contrast  is  rendered  still  more  striking  when 
we  recollect  that  the  summers  here  are  so  hot  as 
to  produce  the  grape  and  water-melon  in  the  open 

This  was  the  first  time  I  ever  felt  a  really  painful 
cold,  and  on  going  out  I  found  it  affect  my  eyes 
severely.  The  breath  froze  on  the  moustache  and 
whiskers,  and  though  I  heard  of  no  noses  being 
lost,  several  ladies  had  their  ears  frozen  in  close 
carriages,  as  they  were  going  out  to  parties.  The 
bread  they  brought  us  in  the  morning  was  mostly 
frozen,  and  we  heard  that  the  liqueurs  had  frozen 
during  the  night,  and  broken  their  bottles.  I  was 


surprised  one  day  to  see  a  peasant,  who  was  talk- 
ing to  another  in  the  square,  resting  his  hand  on 
the  head  of  a  roe-buck,  which  appeared  so  tame 
that  it  stood  quietly  by  his  side ;  but  in  a  few  se- 
conds, when  the  men  parted,  I  was  still  more 
astonished  to  see  him  set  the  animal  exactly  in  the 
same  position  on  his  shoulders,  and  walk  off  with  it. 
In  fact  all  the  game  and  meat  was  frozen,  and  re- 
quired a  gradual  thawing  before  it  could  be  used. 

A  considerable  sensation  has  been  excited  of  late 
by  a  report  that  three  counties  of  Transylvania, 
formerly  belonging  to  Hungary,  are  to  be  restored 
to  that  country.  The  Transylvanians  do  not  seem 
to  relish  this  plan  much  ;  they  say  these  counties 
are  eminently  Protestant  and  liberal,  and  if  taken 
away,  the  opposition  would  be  so  much  weakened 
as  to  be  in  danger  of  extinction, — others,  again, 
hope  it  may  only  be  a  prelude  to  an  union  of  the 
whole  of  Transylvania  to  Hungary,  which  would  be 
a  means  of  strengthening  the  latter  country,  and 
would  insure  the  Transylvanians  also  a  more  strict 
observance  of  their  rights,  though  the  rights  them- 
selves might  be  somewhat  restricted  by  it. 

We  had  a  visit  one  day  from  Szekelly  Moses  Ur, 
the  professor  of  Theology  in  the  Unitarian  College 
here.  Professor  Szekelly  told  me  he  spent  a  short 
time  in  England  some  years  back,  and  visited  most 
of  the  Unitarian  congregations.  At  the  Unitarian 
College  in  York,  he  was  much  astonished  at  the 
wealth  of  the  professors ;  the  first  "  had  300/.  a-year," 


and  the  two  others  150/.  each — "  but  England,"  said 
he,  "  is  a  rich  country  ! "  "  How  much  have  you 
then,  if  you  consider  that  such  excessive  wealth  ? " 
I  asked. 

"  We  have  30/.  a-year  each  and  rooms  in  the  col- 
lege, and  there  are  few  professors  here  better  paid 
than  we  are/' 

Professor  Szekelly  estimates  the  Unitarians  of 
Transylvania  at  forty-seven  thousand.  In  the  col- 
lege there  are  two  hundred  and  thirty  students,  of 
whom  one  hundred  are  togati,  and  follow  the  higher 
branches  of  learning,  the  rest  classisten,  mere  boys. 
There  are  professors  of  Mathematics,  Philosophy, 
History,*  and  Theology,  besides  six  preceptors  un- 
der them.  We  visited  the  college  and  church,  the 
latter  of  which  is  a  handsome  building  and  kept  in 
good  order.  The  form  of  service  is  the  same  as  that 
maintained  in  all  Protestant  dissenting  churches. 

Unitarianism  was  introduced  into  Transylvania  by 
Isabella,  daughter  of  the  King  of  Poland,  and  wife  of 
the  first  Zapolya,  and  it  was  under  her  regency,  dur- 
ing the  minority  of  her  son,  that  they  obtained  equal 
privileges  with  the  other  professors  of  Christianity. 
Blaudrata,  the  physician  of  Isabella,  is  said  to  have 
taught  her  the  doctrines  which  Servetus  was  pro- 
mulgating in  Italy.  For  some  time  Unitarianism 
remained  the  religion  of  the  Court,  and  of  course, 
it  soon  became  the  religion  of  the  courtiers.  Since 
that  time,  however,  many  changes  have  occurred, 
*  The  Unitarians  have  also  Gymnasia  at  Thorda  and  Keresztur. 


by  none  of  which  have  the  poor  Unitarians  gained. 
Their  churches  have  been  taken  away  from  them 
and  given  in  turns  to  the  Reformed  and  the  Ca- 
tholics. Their  funds  have  been  converted  to  other 
purposes  ;  the  great  have  fallen  away  and  followed 
new  fashions  as  they  arose,  and  the  religion  is  now 
almost  entirely  confined  to  the  middle  and  lower 
classes.  It  is  in  the  mountains  of  the  Szekler-land 
that  this  simple  faith  has  retained  the  greatest 
number  of  followers.  Here,  as  elsewhere,  they  are 
said  to  be  distinguished  for  their  prudence  and 
moderation  in  politics,  their  industry  and  morality 
in  private  life,  and  the  superiority  of  their  education 
to  the  generality  of  those  of  their  own  class. 

The  habits  of  society  in  Transylvania,  in  many 
respects,  differ  little  from  those  of  England  about 
the  end  of  the  last  century.  The  ladies  usually 
pass  their  mornings  in  attending  to  the  affairs  of 
their  households,  or  in  listening  over  their  embroi- 
dery to  the  news  of  the  day  which  a  neighbouring 
gossip  has  kindly  brought  to  them.  Some  of  them, 
it  is  true,  spend  these  hours  at  the  easel  or  the 
drawing-table,  and  others  store  their  minds  with 
the  choicest  products  of  foreign  literature.  In 
addition  to  a  pretty  good  circulating  library  which 
Klausenburg  already  contains,  the  ladies  have  lately 
established  a  book-club  among  themselves,  in  order 
to  insure  a  better  supply  of  new  books.  I  know 
many  ladies  to  whom  the  names  and  works  of  all 
our  best  classics  are  familiar,  either  in  the  originals 


or  translations,  and  there  are  very  few  who  cannot 
talk  learnedly  of  Byron  and  Scott.  This  may  not 
be  thought  to  show  any  very  great  proficiency  in 
literature,  but  I  am  afraid  if  we  were  to  ask  English 
ladies  how  much  they  know  —  not  of  Hungarian 
writers  —  but  of  those  of  Germany  even,  we  should 
often  find  their  knowledge  still  more  shallow. 

The  education  of  children  is  for  the  most  part 
committed  to  the  mother's  care.  In  the  richer 
families  she  is  aided  by  a  governess  and  a  master, 
in  those  less  rich  the  whole  duty  rests  on  her,  but 
in  no  case  is  it  left  entirely  to  the  care  of  strangers. 
Boarding-schools  are  almost  unknown ;  and  the  boys 
are  consequently  committed  to  the  care  of  private 
tutors,  often  priests  or  clergymen,  till  fit  to  be  sent 
to  college.  It  is  a  great  misfortune  that  the  whole- 
some lessons  which  pride  so  often  receives  in  public 
schools,  cannot  be  enjoyed  by  these  children.  Too 
often  their  tutors  are  little  more  than  their  servants, 
and  they  are  consequently  brought  up  with  an  over- 
weening idea  of  their  own  consequence,  and  of  the 
inferiority  of  all  around  them.  Count  Sz^chenyi 
has  given  a  humorous  description  of  this  sort  of 
education,  and  its  effects,  which  is  worth  quoting. 
Although  intended  for  Hungary,  and  a  little  exag- 
gerated, there  are  not  wanting  instances  even  in 
Transylvania  to  which  it  might  be  well  applied. 

"  Many  of  our  children,  from  their  very  infancy, 
have  always  been  attended  by  a  couple  of  hussars, 
whose  labour  has  been  to  praise  their  little  master's 


every  act  in  hopes  of  adding  a  trifle  to  their  wages 
by  their  servility — albeit  they  have  rarely  succeeded 
in  that  matter.  Has  the  little  count  walked  half  a 
mile — oh,  what  a  pedestrian  he  will  make !  Has  he 
got  through  an  examination  —  private  of  course, — 
and  are  his  parents  in  office  — what  a  great  man  he 
will  turn  out  some  of  these  days  !  If  the  young 
gentleman,  attended  by  a  handsome  suite,  pays  a 
visit  to  his  fathers  estates,  everybody  is  in  waiting 
to  receive  him,  and  he  sees  things  only  in  their 
holiday  dress.  Suppose  his  studies  now  finished  — 
that  is,  his  private  tutor  dismissed — and  he  sets  out 
on  his  travels  to  gain  a  knowledge  of  the  *  world.' 

He  pays  a  visit  to  Count  N ,  to  Baron  M , 

to  the  Vice  Ispan  H ,  and  to  Squire  F ;  he 

passes  through  a  good  part  of  his  father-land,  finds 
horses  everywhere  ordered  for  him,  and  is  sure  to  be 
well  received  wherever  he  presents  himself,  and  so 
between  visits  to  his  friends  and  a  few  weeks'  bath- 
ing at  Mehadia  or  Fiired,  manages  to  get  through 
the  summer.  After  a  six  weeks'  residence  in  Venice 
and  Munich,  to  complete  his  knowledge  of  foreign 
'Weltweisheit? — world- wisdom — he  returns  home, 
and  is  appointed  to  an  office  already  waiting  for 
him.  And  now  he  plays  the  great  man ;  he  knows 
his  father-land,  has  travelled  into  foreign  countries, 
talks  about  the  English  Parliament  and  the  French 
Chambers,  and  enlightens  his  hearers  with  his 
opinions  on  these  matters.  Then  he  tells  them  in 
how  sad  a  state  France  is,  how  her  agriculture  is 


fallen,  and  darkly  hints  that  Great  Britain  may  yet 
be  ruined  by  her  steam-engines  and  machinery !" 

From  some  of  these  dangers  the  education  of  the 
women  is  free.  Left  entirely  to  a  mother's  care,  or 
taught  by  a  foreign  governess  under  her  eye,  there 
is  little  chance  of  their  falling  into  these  errors; 
nor  indeed,  as  they  are  excluded  from  political 
employment,  is  it  worth  the  Government's  while  to 
interfere  for  the  sake  of  checking  a  mental  deve- 
lopement  which  it  so  much  fears  in  the  other  sex. 

i      I  must  do  the  sons  and  daughters  ofjlungary  the  f 
credit  to  say,  that  in  no^  country  is  the  behaviour  j 

.  of  the  child  to  the  parent  more__ respectful  than  in 

Hungary^    This  partly  depends  on  the  habits  incul- 

cated in  early  life.  From  infancy  the  child  is 
taught  to  kiss^  the  parent's  hand  _as_its^ordinary 
salutation,  and  the  morning  and  evening  greetings 
are  considered  matters  of  duty,  and  punctiliously 

fe1    It  is  pleasant  to  see  the 

married  daughter  kiss  the  mother's  hand  and  receive 
|  her  blessing  as  she  leaves  for  the  night,  and  in  the 
morning  to  find  her  in  attendance  to  offer  her  parent 
the  first  salutations  on  the  coming  day.  Nor  is  the 
Wstom  which  places  the  mother  at  the  head  of  the 
daughter's  table,  and  which  makes  her  almost  mis- 
tress of  the  house  when  she  visits  her  child,  less 
soothing  to  the  feelings  of  one  who  has  long  been 
looked  up  to  as  the  directress  of  all  about  her.  T 
have  often  been  surprised  to  observe  the  absolute 
silence  maintained  by  grown-up  sons  in  the  presence 

SOCIETY.  429 

of  their  fathers,  and  I  have  sometimes  been  sorry 

wherTI  have  seen  them  sacrifice,  if  not  their  political 
sentiments,  at  least  the  conduct  which  those  senti- 
ments would  have  dictated,  to  the  feelings  and 
prejudices  of  old  age.  Great  as  is  the  respect  we 
owe  our  parents,  the  duty  we  owe  our  country  is 
more  sacred  still. 

Society,  at  least  during  the  winter,  occupies  a 
large  share  of  the  ladies'  time  and  attention.  After 
dinner  they  commonly  make  their  visits  ;  in  summer 
they  drive  out  to  the  Volks  Garten,  or  some  other 
place  in  the  neighbourhood,  and  still  later  either 
receive  visitors  at  home,  or  go  out  to  spend  the 
evening  with  some  of  their  friends.  Though  more 
domestic  in  their  habits  than  the  French,  they  are 
not  such  slaves  to  their  firesides  as  ourselves.  It  is 
not  thought  a  misfortune  to  ppend  an  evening  alone, 
but  it  is  more  commonly  passed  in  society. 

The  conversation  of  small  towns  is  very  apt  to 
run  into  scandal  and  tittle-tattle,  and  Klausenberg 
is  certainly  not  free  from  the  imputation ;  but  if 
the  weeds  of  the  social  system  find  a  soil  for  their 
nourishment  here,  its  flowers  are  not  less  plentiful 
and  luxuriant.  There  are  womenjn  Transylvania 
.whose  accomplishments  and  manners  would  render 
them  the  ornament  of  any  society  in  which  the] 
might  be  placed.  Nor  is  the  general  tone  of  con- 
versation much  lower  in  its  intellectuality, — what-  1 
ever  it  may  be  in  refinement, — than  inimostother 
countries.  I  was  particularly  struck  by  the  freedom 


with  which  political  and  religious  discussions  were 
often  carried  on  before  ladies  here,  and  by  the 
interest  and  share  they  took  in  it.  In  Transylvania, 
I  never  heard  a  lady  insulted  by  an  apology  for 
speaking  in  her  presence  of  subjects  which  interested 
her  husband,  father,  or  brother.  Perhaps  the  next 
sentence  may  explain  the  cause  of  this. 

The  position  of  women  in  Hungary  and  Transyl- 
vania, with  respect  to  their  civil  and  even  political 
rights  is  very  different  from  what  it  is  with  us. 
We  have  already  remarked,  when  speaking  of  the 
Diet  at  Presburg,  that  the  widows  of  magnates  have 
the  right  of  sending  a  deputy  to  sit,  though  not  to 
speak  or  vote,  in  the  lower  chamber ;  and  in  the 
county  meetings,  the  widows  of  all  nobles  can  send 
their  representatives  to  act  in  their  names.  Their 
civil  rights, — that  is,  of  the  married  women  or 
widows,  for  the  maid  remains  a  minor  and  ward  of 
her  nearest  male  relation,  should  she  live  to  the  age 

Methuselah — are  still  more  important.  ^An^Hun- 
garian  lady  never  loses  her  maiden  name,  and  even 
during  her  husband's  life,  actions  at  law  regarding 
her  property  are  conducted  in  her  name.  Over  her 
property  the  husband  has,  byjaw  no  right  whatso- 
ever;  even  the  management  of  it  she  may  retain 
in  her  own  hands,  though  she  rarely  or  never  does  so. 

In  cases  of  divorce,  where  the  character  of  the 
wife  is  unimpeached,  the  whole  of  the  children  are 
left  in  the  care  of  the  mother  till  the  age  of  seven, 
and  the  girls  during  their  whole  lives. 

THE  CASINO.  431 

Divorces  are  far  from  uncommon  among  the 
Protestants  of  Transylvania ;  for  except  when  at- 
tended by  scandalous  disclosures,  which  is  rare, 
both  law  and  custom  mark  them  as  unfortunate 
rather  than  disgraceful.  They  are  commonly  ob- 
tained by  the  wife  against  the  husband  on  the 
plea  of  ill  treatment,  inveterate  dislike,  impossi- 
bility of  living  together,  or  the  employment  of 
threats  or  force  to  accomplish  the  marriage — any 
of  which  are  sufficient  in  law — and  she  retains  all 
her  property  and  rights  unimpaired.  It  is  curious 
that  very  few  cases  occur  in  which  they  do  not 
marry  again  quite  as  well  as  before. 

The  Casino  at  Klausenburg,  if  less  splendid  than 
its  elder  brother  in  Pest,  is  at  least  equally  hospit- 
able :  our  names  were  put  down,  and  we  were 
free  of  it  as  long  as  we  chose  to  stay.  The  ladies 
complain  that  their  drawing-rooms  are  sadly  de- 
serted since  the  establishment  of  the  Casino ;  the 
attractions  of  pipes,  cards,  billiards,  conversation, 
and  books,  seem'  to  have  beat  those  of  beauty.  It 
is  rare  to  go  into  the  Casino  of  Klausenburg  during 
the  evening  and  not  find  its  rooms  full.  If  I  com- 
plained that  the  Casino  of  Pest  was  invaded  by 
the  pipe,  what  shall  I  say  of  that  of  Klausenburg? 
Its  air  is  one  dense  cloud  of  smoke,  and  it  is  easy 
to  detect  any  one  who  has  been  there  by  the  smell 
of  his  clothes  for  some  time  after.  Such  a  smoking  1 

ti^n^s^this^Ijiever  saw ;  the  Germans  are  novices    ] 
to  them  in  the  art.     Reading,  writing,  walking,  or  J 

432  SMOKING. 

riding,  idle  or  at  work,  they  are  never  without  the 
pipe.  Even  in  swimming,  I  have  seen  a  man  puff- 
ing away  guite  composedly.  A  coachman  thinks 
it  is  a  great  hardship  if  he  may  not  smoke  as  he  is 
driving  a  carriage,  although  it  may  happen  that  the 
smoke  blows  directly  into  the  face  of  his  mistress. 
The  meerschaum  is  cherished  by  the  true  smoker 
with  as  much  care  as  a  pet  child  :  when  new,  he 
covers  it  up  in  a  little  case  of  soft  leather  that  it 
may  not  be  scratched,  and  he  smokes  it  regu- 
larly and  with  great  caution,  that  it  may  take 
an  equal  colour  throughout ;  and  when  at  last  it 
has  obtained  the  much -esteemed  nut-brown  hue, 
with  what  pride  does  he  exhibit  and  praise  its 
beauty !  A  meerschaum,  engraved  with  arms,  is 
one  of  the  common  presents  between  intimate 
friends ;  and  some  of  them  are  worked  with  ex- 
quisite taste  and  skill.  The  most  common  tobacco 
bag  is  a  part  of  the  skin  of  the  goat,  and  is  often 
ornamented  with  rich  embroidery. 

The  most  luxurious  smoker  I  ever  knew,  was  a 
young  Transylvanian,  who  told  us  that  his  servant 
always  inserted  a  lighted  pipe  into  his  mouth  the 
first  thing  in  the  morning,  and  that  he  smoked  it 
out  before  he  awoke.  "  It  is  so  pleasant,"  he  ob- 
served, "  to  have  the  proper  taste  restored  to  one's 
mouth  before  one  is  sensible  even  of  its  want." 

I  am  sorry  to  say  smoking  does  not  confine  itself 
to  the  Casino  or  the  bachelor's  bedroom,  but 
makes  its  appearance  even  in  the  society  of  ladies. 


In  some  houses,  pipes  are  regularly  brought  into 
the  drawing-room  with  coffee  after  dinner,  and  I 
have  even  heard  of  a  ball  supper  being  finished 
with  smoking.  I  never  knew  a  lady  who  did  not 
dislike  this  custom ;  but  they  commonly  excuse  it 
by  the  plea  that  they  could  not  keep  the  gentlemen 
with  them  if  they  did  not  yield  to  it.  It  is  but 
justice  to  say,  however,  that  there  are  drawing- 
rooms  in  Klausenburg  from  which  this  abomina- 
tion is  rigidly  excluded,  and  where  the  gentle- 
men are  still  happy  to  be  allowed  to  make  their 
bows  without  a  similar  permission  being  extended 
to  their  meerschaums. 

S was    present    at    the    funeral    of   Count 

R ,  and  has  given  me  some  curious  particulars 

of  it.      Count   R was   a  Protestant,  and  the 

greatest  part  of  the  ceremony  took  place  in  his 
own  house.  After  a  short  service,  and  a  general 
sermon  to  all  those  invited  to  the  funeral,  the 
clergyman  proceeded  to  address  each  one  of  the 
mourners  separately  and  by  name.  He  began  with 
the  nearest  relative, — in  this  case  the  widow, — and 
after  enlarging  on  the  virtues  of  the  deceased,  as  a 
husband  and  father,  pointed  out  the  consolation 
she  might  derive  from  the  reflection,  and  when  at 
last  she  was  quite  overcome  by  her  feelings,  she 
was  led  out  by  two  of  her  friends,  and  the  next 
of  kin  was  then  addressed  in  the  same  way,  and  so 
on  through  the  whole  company.  Such  a  ceremony, 
if  well  conducted,  gives  the  clergyman  a  great 

VOL.  II.  F   F 

434  SCHOOLS. 

opportunity  of  correcting  the  faults  and  failings  of 
individuals  in  circumstances  when  admonition  is  most 
kindly  received ;  but  as  in  our  own  funeral  sermons, 
it  too  often  ends  in  a  mere  panegyric  of  the  deceased, 
without  regard  to  his  deserts,  or  to  the  edification  of 
the  hearers.  To  speak  impartially  under  such  cir- 
cumstances would  often  be  cruel,  and  is  scarcely  possi- 
ble in  any  case  :  in  Transylvania  it  is  rendered  still 
more  difficult  by  the  handsome  present  the  clergyman 
commonly  receives  for  his  services  on  the  occasion. 

I  was  taken  by  the   Baroness   B to    see  a 

school  in  which  she  felt  great  interest,  and  in  the 
foundation  of  which  she  had  taken  a  considerable 
share.  This  school  was  for  children  of  all  religions, 
and  had  been  established  to  enable  the  poor  Pro- 
testants and  others  to  educate  their  children  with- 
out having  them  tempted  to  become  converts  to 
Catholicism,  of  which  they  were  in  danger  in  other 
places.  The  system  pursued  was  that  of  Lancaster, 
and  it  seemed  to  succeed  well.  They  only  attempt 
to  teach  the  first  elements  of  education,  as  far  as 
learning  is  concerned,  but  what  is  of  more  impor- 
tance, religious  and  orderly  habits  are  insisted  on. 
The  services  of  the  day  are  begun  and  ended  with  a 
prayer  and  hymn,  and  the  reading  of  select  passages 
from  the  Bible.  Among  the  children  were  Calvin- 
ists  and  Unitarians,  Catholics,  Greeks  and  Jews, — 
the  latter  only  taking  no  part  in  the  religious  acts. 

There    are  other  schools  for  the  poorer   classes, 
founded   by  the  Baroness  Josika,  a  lady  of  great 

THE   THEATRE.  435 

enterprise  and  public  spirit,  to  whom  Klausenburg 
is  indebted  for  many  very  useful  institutions. 

In  spite  of  not  understanding  a  word  that  was 
said,  I  went  several  times  to  the  theatre  as  a  matter 
of  duty.  I  cannot  say  a  great  deal  in  favour  of  the 
acting,  but  I  really  do  not  think  it  was  worse  than  is 
seen  in  the  provincial  theatres  of  most  other  coun- 
|  tries.  Klausenburg  was  the  first  town  that  could 
boast  of  a  regular  Magyar  theatre,  and  may  there- 
fore claim  to  have  exercised  no  slight  influence  in 
extending  and  polishing  the  language.  I  met  Mr. 
Jancso,  the  first  Hungarian  actor  who  ever  distin- 
guished himself,  the  other  day  at  dinner  at  the 

Countess  W 's.  He  is  said  to  have  enjoyed  great 

popularity  in  his  day,  and  to  have  fully  deserved  it. 
He  is  now  old,  and,  like  so  many  of  our  own  past 
favourites,  but  very  ill  provided  for.  Whenever  the 

Countess  W ,  however,  is  in  town,  Jancso  is 

sure  of  a  good  dinner,  as  there  is  always  a  cover 
laid  for  him  at  her  table. 

Having  sufficiently  recovered  from  a  slight  hurt  I 
had  received  about  the  middle  of  January,  which  the 
cold  had  aggravated  into  a  rather  troublesome  affair, 
I  began  to  think  of  moving ;  and  we  accordingly  de- 
termined to  bid  adieu  to  Klausenburg  and  spend  the 
carnival  in  Pest.  In  truth,  the  unhappy  divisions 
which  politics  have  caused  in  society  renders  Klau- 
senburg anything  but  a  pleasant  residence  just  at 
present.  It  is  idle  to  say  that  such  matters  should 
have  nothing  to  do  with  our  enjoyments — where 

F    F    2 



great  interests  are  at  stake  every  legitimate  means 
of  exercising  moral  influence  must  be  employed  ;  the 
renegade,  the  seller  of  his  conscience,  must  be  ex- 
cluded from  the  drawing-room,  as  he  is  from  the 
senate;  must  be  shunned  by  the  women  as  he  is 
despised  by  the  men.  But  necessary  as  all  this  may 
be,  it  is  far  from  pleasant,  and  we  therefore  deter- 
mined to  bid  it  farewell,  hoping  that  the  moderation 
of  the  people,  and  the  returning  good  sense  of  the 
Government,  would  in  a  few  years  restore  to  Klau- 
senburg  its  former  character  of  one  of  the  gayest 
little  places  in  the  world. 


THE   POET.  437 



Return  to  Pest.  —  A  Poet.  —  Travelling  comforts.  —  The  Car- 
riers.— Gross  Wardein. — Prince  Hohenlohe. — The  Italian. — 
Paprika  Hendel.  —  Great  Cumania.  —  The  Cumanians  and 
Jazygers. — The  worst  Road  in  Hungary. 

ON  the  24th  of  January,  we  bade  adieu  to  Klau- 
senburg  and  took  the  road  to  Pest.  It  was  Friday, 
and  many  were  the  evil  predictions  of  our  kind 
friends;  but  a  bright  morning,  and  the  thermo- 
meter as  high  as  18°  below  freezing  of  Fahrenheit, 
were  not  to  be  neglected.  While  changing  horses 
at  Nagy  Kapus,  the  first  post,  we  were  saluted  in 
Italian  by  an  important-looking  personage,  who  in- 
formed us  that  he  was  a  poet,  and  who  inquired  in 
return  if  we  were  not  the  Englishmen  who,  he  heard, 
were  wandering  about  the  country.  We  were  but 
too  proud  to  acknowledge  the  identity,  when  he 
assured  us  he  had  already  informed  his  literary 
society  of  the  strangers'  visit  to  these  distant 
lands,  and  begged  our  names  and  titles,  that  he 
might  make  no  error  in  any  future  mention  of 
us!  It  appears  that  he  had  served  in  the  Aus- 
trian army  during  the  wars  of  Napoleon,  and  was 


received  a  member  of  some  learned  society  at 
Milan,  since  which  period  he  has  been  continually 
writing  poetry,  which  no  one  reads. 

In  spite  of  an  invitation  to  stay  the  night  at 
Banffy  Hunyad,  we  determined  to  push  on  for 
Gross  Wardein  as  quickly  as  possible.  We  had 
a  bright  moon,  and  its  rays  falling  on  the  snow 
with  which  everything  was  covered,  left  us  no- 
thing to  desire  as  far  as  light  was  concerned. 
The  cold  we  did  not  fear,  for  we  had  taken 
very  effectual  means  to  guard  against  that.  It  is 
only  in  really  cold  countries  that  man  knows  how 
to  keep  himself  warm.  Our  heads  were  well  pro- 
tected by  a  kalpak,  or  high  fur  cap,  the  whole 
body  enveloped  in  a  bunda  or  fur  cloak,  the 
hands  in  fox-skin  gloves,  and  the  feet  and  legs  in 
a  sack  of  thick  cloth  lined  with  sheep-skin,  decid- 
edly one  of  the  happiest  efforts  of  human  genius. 
Bless  that  sack !  for  during  four  days  and  a  night 
in  the  midst  of  snow,  travelling  among  wooded 
mountains,  and  over  extensive  plains,  our  happy 
toes  rejoiced  in  an  uninterrupted  state  of  a  most 
felicitous  insensibility  to  cold. 

From  Hunyad  to  Nagy  Barod,  the  road,  equal 
to  a  good  English  turnpike-road,  follows  the  valley 
of  the  Sebes  Kb'rb's,  one  of  the  prettiest  in  Tran- 
sylvania, terminating  in  a  fine  pass,  beyond  which? 
from  the  height  above  Nagy  Barod,  the  whole 
plain  of  Hungary  lay  before  us.  While  waiting 
here  till  the  post-mistress  had  run  over  the  scat- 


tered  village  to  make  up  the  number  of  horses, — 
for  we  were  now  in  Hungary,  and  the  post  was  no 
longer  so  good  as  in  Transylvania — we  went  into 
the  little  inn  in  hopes   of  obtaining  some  apology 
for   supper.      The   only  room  was    fully  occupied ; 
in  one  corner  lay  the  landlord,  and  in  a  box,  sus- 
piciously near,   his  handmaid    Julie ;    on   the  floor 
were   scattered,    apparently,    heaps    of   sheep-skins 
and   boots,  but  in  fact,   a   number   of  carriers   on 
their  way  from  Klausenburg  to  Pest,   and   all   so 
fast  asleep,  that  walking  amongst  them  failed  to 
disturb  their  slumbers.     These,  however,  were  the 
master   carriers ;    their   waggons,    horses,    and    dri- 
vers, were  filling  the    snow-covered   yard   through 
which   we  had   passed.     I  class    the    horses,   men, 
and  waggons  together,  as  they  all  reposed  quietly 
in  the  snow  together,  and  seemed   all  equally  in- 
sensible to  its  cold.     In  winter,  when  the  Theiss 
and  Maros  are  frozen,  these  carriers  form  the  only 
means   of   commercial    intercourse    between    Hun- 
gary  and  Transylvania.      They   have   generally   a 
train   of  light    waggons,    each    with   eight   or   ten 
small  horses,  and  carrying  perhaps  40  to  50  cent- 
ners per  waggon.     The  whole   distance  from  Pest 
to  Klau^ejibm^j^QmTe^,_in  summer,  from  ten   to 
twelve  days,  and  four^e^n_Jn^baj__wjeather,  and  the 
charge  is  from  four  to  five  shillings  per  centner, 
according  to  the  state  of  the  roads,  for  the  whole 
journey.     The  carriers  themselves  are  most  trust- 
worthy,   nor   is    there    any   danger   from    robbery. 


These  men  go  up  to  Vienna  when  the  goods  from 
the  Leipsic  fair  arrive  there,  and  carry  them  di- 
rectly to  Klausenburg ;  in  fact,  all  the  commerce  of 
the  country  passes  through  their  hands.  A  person, 
twenty  years  engaged  in  this  trade,  assured  us  he 
had  never  known  a  robbery  of  his  waggons. 

A  little  thin  soup,  and  a  well-garlicked  sausage 
again  fortified  us  for  the  road,  and  we  reached 
Gross  Wardein  by  eleven  the  next  morning, — more 
than  eighty  miles  in  the  four-and-twenty  hours. 
/  Gross  Wardein  is  really  one  of  the  prettiest  little 
towns  I  have  seen  for  a  long  time.  Its  wide,  well- 
builtstreets  of  one-storied  houses,  and  extensive 
market-places,  are  quite  ^o  the  taste  of  the  Magyar, 
who  loves  not  the  narrow  lanes  and  high  houses 
of  his  German  neighbours.  But  the  glory  of  Gross 
Wardein  is  in  its  gilded  steeples,  its  episcopal  palace, 
its  convents,  and  its  churches ;  and  although  of  the 
latter,  the  seventy  which  it  formerly  boasted  are  re- 
duced to  twenty-two,  they  are  quite  sufficient  for  the 
eighteen  thousand  inhabitants  it  contains.  Prince 
Hohenlohe,  of  miracle-working  memory,  is  now  the 
occupant  of  this  see.  His  elevation  to  the  bishop- 
ric, has,  however,  completely  extinguished  the  light 
of  miracle:  some  say  that  the  old  Emperor  gave 
his  reverend  highness  a  strong  hint  that  such  ex- 
hibitions were  but  little  to  his  taste,  and  begged 
that  Gross  Wardein  might  not  be  made  the  scene 
of  his  pious  humbugs.  Only  a  few  months  since, 
a  gouty  old  Englishman,  a  man  of  education  and 


family,  astonished  the  inhabitants  of  this  little  town, 
by  informing  them  that  he  had  come  all  the  way 
from  England  to  be  cured  of  his  gout  by  the  Prince. 
Some  of  those  who  told  me  of  it,  touched  their 
foreheads,  nodded  significantly,  and  seemed  to  think 
the  poor  gentleman's  malady  was  not  confined  to 
his  toes.  On  finding  his  errand  bootless,  he  posted 
direct  back  as  he  had  come,  without  troubling  him- 
self with  looking  at  any  object  on  the  way. 

Three  hours  were  we  obliged  to  wait  at  Gross 
Wardein  for  horses.  As  I  was  strolling  alone 
through  its  wide  streets,  with  that  particularly  kill- 
time  lounge,  common  to  all  travellers  detained 
against  their  will,  a  "  Sense,  signore  "  introduced  me 
to  a  pair  of  bright  black  eyes,  which  recalled  me 
at  once  to  the  banks  of  the  Arno  or  Tiber,  and 
which  belonged  to  a  very  pretty  woman,  whose 
appearance  indicated  that  she  belonged  to  that 
demicaste,  half  lady  half  not,  the  members  of 
which  are  so  often  sacrificed  to  their  own  vanity 
and  our  egoism. 

"  Perhaps  il  Signore  is  going  to  Italy." 

"  Not  at  present." 

"  Che,  disgrazia !  I  had  hoped  you  were  going 
there,  and  would  have  taken  me  with  you.  I  have 
been  here  for  some  months,  and  am  so  tired  of 
hearing  nothing  but  Hungarian,  and  seeing  nothing 
but  snow,  that  I  would  fain  be  once  more  back 
in  dear  Florence  :  I  should  never  wish  to  travel 

442  B  A  RAND. 

Of  course,  I  regretted  a  thousand  times  that  fate 
should  have  denied  me  the  pleasure  of  restoring 
those  bright  eyes  to  their  native  sun,  and  could  not 
help  inquiring,  what  had  led  them  so  far  away  from 
their  destined  orbit  ? 

"  Le  circonstanze,  signore? — with  a  deep  sigh  : 
"  but  now  I  should  like  to  go  back."  The  deuce 
is  in  those  "  circonstanze ;" — I  never  yet  saw  a 
pretty  woman  in  a  difficulty  who  did  not  accuse 
"  le  circonstanze  "  of  the  whole  affair. 

Though  it  was  one  o'clock  before  we  started,  for- 
tune favoured  us  with  very  good  horses,  and  we  made 
forty  miles  before  nine,  which  brought  us  to  Ba- 
rand.  There  was  not  an  elevation  of  two  yards  the 
whole  distance,  and  the  road,  except  during  the  last 
stage,  was  excellent;  nor  did  we  miss  it  then,  for 
we  drove  without  fear  over  the  frozen  snow,  some- 
times following  the  track  of  former  wheels,  some- 
times the  fancy  of  the  peasant  or  his  horses,  but 
always  at  a  capital  pace.  In  no  part  of  Hun- 
gary are  the  villages  so  large,  the  peasants  so  rich, 
and  the  horses,  consequently,  so  fat  and  strong,  as 
on  the  plains. 

Thefogado  (inn)  at  Barand,  was  none  of  the  best; 
the  rooms  were  cold,  there  was  nothing  for  supper, 
^and  the  landlady  was  ill  in  bed;  nevertheless,  we 
soon  got  the  stove  heated,  a  good  dish  of  paprika 
\Jiendel  before  us,   and    enjoyed    a    night  of   most 
luxurious  sleep.     I  do  not   think   I  have   yet   en- 
lightened the  reader  as  to  the  mystery  of  a  paprika 


hendel;  to  forget  it,  would  be  a  depth  of  ingra- 
titude of  which,  I  trust,  I  shall  never  be  guilty. 
Well,  then,  reader,  if  ever  you  travel  in  Hungary, 
and  want  a  dinner  or  supper  quickly,  never  mind 
the  variety  of  dishes  your  host  names,  but  fix  at 
once  on  paprika  hendel.  Two  minutes  afterwards, 
you  will  hear  signs  of  a  revolution  in  the  basse  cour ; 
the  cocks  and  hens  are  in  alarm ;  one  or  two  of 
the  largest,  and  probably  oldest  members  of  their 
unfortunate  little  community,  are  seized,  their  necks 
wrung,  and,  while  yet  fluttering,  immersed  in  boil- 
ing water.  Their  coats  and  skins  come  off  at  once  ; 
a  few  unmentionable  preparatory  operations  are 
rapidly  despatched — probably  under  the  traveller's 
immediate  observation — the  wretches  are  cut  into 
pieces,  thrown  into  a  pot,  with  water,  butter,  flour, 
cream,  and  an  inordinate  quantity  of  red  pepper, 
or  paprika,  and  very  shortly  after,  a  number  of  bits 
of  fowl  are  seen  swimming  in  a  dish  of  hot  greasy 
gravy,  quite  delightful  to  think  of.  I  have  not  yet 
f  quite  made  up  my  mind,  whether  this  or  the  gulyds- 
hus — another  national  dish,  made  of  bits  of  beef 
stewed  in  red  pepper — is  the  best ;  and  I  therefore 
recommend  all  travellers  to  try  them  both.  These 
hot  dishes  suit  the  Hungarian  :  red  pepper,  the  growth 
of  Hungary,  he  considers  peculiarly  national :  and, 
\  excepting  ourselves,  I  believe  he  is  the  only  Euro- 
mean  sufficiently  civilized  to  know  the  full  value  of 
that  most  indispensable  article  of  culinary  luxury. 
Our  first  post  next  morning,  still  over  the  sea- 


like  snow-coyeredplain,  brought  us  to  Kardszag, 
a  large  and  prosperous  village  of  eleven  thousand 
inhabitants.  I  call  it  a  village,  for  though  I  be- 
lieve it  enjoys  the  privileges  of  a  market  town,  its 
cottages  built  of  mud,  perhaps  shaped  into  squares 
and  dried  in  the  sun,  its  roofs  of  reeds,  its  wide 
unpaved  sandy  roads  rather  than  streets,  and  its 
respectable  peasant-looking  inhabitants,  render  it 
almost  a  perversion  of  language  to  call  it  a  town. 
/^"It  was  Sunday,  and  church  (for  they  are  mostly 
Protestants  on  the  plains)  was  just  over;  a  number 
of  men,  among  the  best-built  andjnostjbandsome  qf^ 
anjpart  of  Europe,  were  standing  round  the  Town- 
)iQuse_after  morning  service,  while  several  troops  of 

returning  from  school.  /  It  was  pleasant  to  see  the 
little  fellows,  so  smart  and  comfortable  did  they  look 
in  their  red  Hessian  boots,  wide  white  trousers,  and 
lambskin  coats  or  cloaks,  which  quite  enveloped 
them,  and  rendered  them  not  unlike  the  little 
animals  whose  robbed  fleeces  they  wore. 

We  were  so  struck  with  the  easy  look  of  the 
people,  and  the  neatness  and  apparent  comfort  of 
jthe  cottages,  that  we  asked  who  was  the  owner 
of  the  place  ?  One  of  them,  politely  baring  his  fine 
head  of  long  black  hair,  fastened  up  with  a  comb, 
told  us,  they  served  no  one^buJL  their_kin^ :  they 
[were^ Cumaaiajis.  In  different  parts  of  Hungary 
there  are  certain  districts,  of  considerable  extent, 
enjoying  immunities  and  privileges  which  place 


them  in  a  very  different  position  from  the  rest  of 
the  country.  Among  these,  the  most  important  are 
Great  Cumania,  of  which  Kardszag  is  the  principal 
place ;  Little  Cumania ;  the  land  of  the  Jazygers ; 
and  the  Haiduk  towns ;  all  forming  portions  of  the 
great  plain. 

The  inhabitants  of  the  first  three  of  these  districts 
seem  to  have  a  common  origin,  though  the  dates 
of  their  settlement,  —  those  now  called  Jazygers, 
under  Ladislaus  the  First,  in  1090 ;  the  Great  and 
Little  Cumanians,  severally,  under  Stephan  the 
Second,  in  1122,  and  Bela  the  Fourth  in  1138,— 
are  sufficiently  distant.  Hungarian  historians  are 
still  in  doubt  as  to  the  precise  country  formerly 
occupied  by  these  people,  and  even  as  to  their 
original  language.  There  can  scarcely,  however,  be 
a  question  that  they  have  sprung  from  the  same 
eastern  stem  from  which  the  Magyars  themselves  f 
branched  off,  and  that  their  language  was  essentially  / 
the  same.  At  the  present  day,  in  no  part  of 
Hungary  are  the  language,  manners,  and  feelings 
of  the  people  more  truly  Magyar  than  among  the 

In  all  these  districts,  the  peasant  is  himself  lord 
of  the  soil,  and  owns  the  land  ;  he  is,  therefore,  free 
from  the  annoyances  of  personal  service,  and  is  in 
the  enjoyment  of  the  innumerable  advantages  of 
propriety.  His  deputies  sit  in  the  Diet.  It  is  true, 
that  in  return  for  this,  he  bears  more  than  an  equal 
portion  of  the  burthens  of  the  state.  With  the 

446  THE  WORST   ROAD. 

noble,  he  is  bound  to  do  military  service  when 
called  on,  and  to  contribute  a  part  in  the  extra- 
ordinary subsidies  occasionally  granted  by  the  Diet, 
while  with  the  peasant,  he  pays  an  equal  portion 
of  the  heavy  Government  taxes.  Notwithstanding 
these  severe  drawbacks,  he  is  undoubtedly  the  most 
prosperous  and  happy  of  the  Hungarian  peasants, 
a  sure  proof, — and  would  that  legislators  knew  it, 
—  that  it  is  less  the  amount,  than  the  manner  of 
taxation,  in  which  its  real  oppression  consists. 

From  Szolnok,  where  we  passed  the  third  night, 
we  had  still  a  long  day's  journey,  of  at  least  sixty 
miles  to  perform.  The  first  stage  to  Abany  has  the 
reputation  of  being  the  very  worst  road  in  Hungary, 
and  to  those  who  know  what  Hungarian  roads  are, 
such  a  reputation  is  not  without  its  terrors.  A 
gentleman,  whom  I  can  well  believe,  assured  me 
that  he  had  occupied  sixteen  hours  in  travelling 
over  these  ten  miles  in  a  light  carriage  drawn  by 
twelve  oxen.  The  soil  is  a  rich,  black,  boggy  loam, 
and  the  road  consists  of  about  thirty  yards'  width 
of  this  substance,  separated  from  the  ploughed  land, 
on  each  side,  by  deep  ditches,  to  prevent  the  tra- 
veller driving  over  the  furrows,  which  he  would 
certainly  prefer  as  the  better  road  of  the  two. 
The  inhabitants  always  urge  as  an  apology,  that 
there  is  no  stone  except  at  an  immense  distance, 
and  this  is  true ;  yet  I  think  in  some  other  coun- 
tries, and  even  here  with  more  just  laws,  the  basalt 
of  Tokay  would  have  found  its  way  down  the  Theiss 

THE  WORST   ROAD.  447 

to  their  assistance ;  but  as  long  as  the  whole  bur- 
then of  making  roads  rests  on  the  shoulders  of  the 
unfortunate  peasants,  the  proud  noble  must  be  con- 
tent to  stick  in  the  inud.  We  were  fortunately 
favoured  by  the  frost,  and  got  over  it  in  four  hours. 
We  now  approached  the  capital,  and  with  the  aid 
of  six  horses,  a  little  extra  borra  valo  to  the  Ms  biro, 
to  procure  the  horses  quickly,  and  to  the  peasant 
to  flog  them  unmercifully,  we  reached  Pest  by  the 




A  Ball. — Ladies'  Costume. — Luxury  and  Barbarism.  —  Univer- 
sity of  Pest. — Number  of  Schools. — Austrian  System  of  Edu- 
cation— its  Effects. —  Corruption  of  Justice. — Delays  of  the 
Law. — Literature. — Mr.  Kolcsey. — Baron  Josika. —  Arts  and 
Artists. — The  Theatre.  —  Magyar  Language. — Mr.  Kb'rosi  and 
his  Expedition  to  Thibet. — Trade  Companies. — Popular  Jokes. 
— Austria,  Hungary,  and  Russia. — Blunders  of  Mr.  Quin  and 
other  English  Writers  on  Hungary. — The  last  Ball  of  the  Car- 
nival.— Tne  Masquerade. — The  breaking  up  of  the  Ice. 

"  WELCOME  back  to  Pest,  friends !  you  are  just 
come  in  time  for  all  the  gaiety."  Such  was  the 
salutation  of  Count  D as  he  met  us  on  the  first 

A   BALL.  449 

morning  of  our  return.  "  I  have  two  balls  for  you 
to-night,  and  several  others  during  the  week.  I 
know  what  you  are  going  to  say,  that  you  are 
not  acquainted  with  any  of  these  philanthropic  ball- 
givers;  but  I  will  arrange  all  that  for  you;  I  will 

write  a  note  to  the  Baroness  O to  say  I  shall 

bring  you  to  her  house  this  evening,  and  I  will 
there  introduce  you  to  everybody  you  ought  to 
know,  so  that  the  whole  affair  will  be  settled  as 
ceremoniously  as  even  a  ceremonious  Englishman 
could  wish  !"  Although  we  pleaded  hard  for  a  few 
days'  rest,  before  launching  on  this  sea  of  pleasure, 

D protested  the  carnival  was  too  short  for  a 

wise  man  to  lose  a  day  of  it,  and  therefore,  we  had 
nothing  for  it  but  to  submit  in  peace. 

About  nine  the  same  evening  we  found  ourselves 
ushered  by  an  hussar,  dressed  in  blue  and  silver, 
into  a  splendid  ball-room,  brilliant  with  light  and 
beauty.  Our  reception  was  as  kind  as  well-bred 
hospitality  could  make  it,  and  on  looking  round  we 
soon  found  a  number  of  faces  we  had  met  before, 
and  all  ready  to  offer  us  a  kind  welcome  back. 

And  now  I  confess  myself  fairly  puzzled.  I  sup- 
pose I  ought  to  describe  this  ball, — but  what  points 
am  I  to  seize  on,  by  which  to  distinguish  it  from  a 
ball  anywhere  else?  There  is  not  a  dress  or  a 
costume  of  any  kind,  that  differs  a  particle  from 
those  of  London  or  Paris;  not  a  dance,  save  the 
waltz  and  quadrille ;  not  a  gait  or  movement,  that  is 
not  common  to  ladies  and  gentlemen  of  any  other 

VOL.  II.  G   G 

450  A   BALL. 

country.  There  may  be  some  of  those  fine  shades 
of  distinction  which  the  delicate  appreciation  of  a 
woman's  mind  might  seize  and  work  upon,  but  I 
must  confess  to  my  grosser  apprehension,  the  cha- 
racteristics of  good  society  vary  so  little  in  any 
part  of  Europe,  that  but  for  the  furniture  of  the 
room,  or  the  language  spoken,  I  should  scarcely 
know  a  ball  in  one  great  capital,  from  a  ball  in 
any  other.  An  elegant  suite  of  rooms,  well  lighted, 
a  good  band  of  musicians,  a  number  of  pretty  girls 
and  their  mammas,  with  a  proportionate  quantity 
of  men,  free  from  the  vulgarity  of  dandyism,  and 
especially  when  the  whole  party  is  acquainted  and 
all  are  perfectly  at  their  ease,  are  always  sufficient 
to  compose  a  pleasant  ball  anywhere.  On  this 
occasion  the  presence  of  a  reigning  Prince  gave  the 
ladies  an  excuse  for  displaying  their  most  brilliant 
parures  of  diamonds,  and  the  heads  of  many  of  them 
literally  blazed  with  jewellery. 

I  am  afraid  the  Hungarian  ladies  must  plead 
guilty  to  a  little  more  than  common  affection  for 
these  pretty  baubles.  Nor,  indeed,  can  it  be  won- 
dered at,  for  their  national  costume  is  so  co- 
vered with  them,  and  they  are  allowed  by  all  the 
world  to  look  so  lovely  in  it,  that  it  is  no  wonder 
if  they  think  the  jewels  have  some  influence  in 
the  matter.  And  this  reminds  me  that  I  have  not 
yet  said  a  word  about  this  costume,  although  to 
have  omitted  it  would  have  brought  on  me  a 
frown  from  every  pair  of  bright  eyes  in  Hungary. 


Let  me  premise,  however,  that  this  dress  was  not 
worn  at  the  ball  at  the  Baroness  O 's,  nor  in- 
deed is  it  ever  used,  except  at  court  or  on  public 
occasions,  as  the  installation  of  a  lord  lieutenant  or 
other  great  ceremony. 

The  full  dress  of  the  Magyar  nemes  asszony, — 
noble  Hungarian  lady,  —  is  composed  of  a  tight 
bodice,  laced  across  the  breast  with  rows  of 
pearls,  a  full-flowing  skirt,  with  an  ample  train,  a 
lace  apron  in  front,  and  a  long  veil  of  the  same 
material,  hanging  from  the  head  to  the  ground 
behind.  The  dress  is  composed  of  some  rich  bro- 
cade, or  heavy  velvet  stuff.  The  head,  neck,  arms, 
and  waist,  are  commonly  loaded  with  jewels,  and 
the  veil  and  apron  are  often  richly  embroidered,  after 
the  Turkish  fashion,  in  gold.  The  only  difference 
between  the  married  and  unmarried  is,  that  the 
latter  have  no  veil,  and,  instead  of  the  small  cap, 
from  which  the  veil  hangs,  their  hair  is  braided 
with  pearls. 

But  to  return  to  the  ball.  I  was  rather  amused 
with  the  tactics  of  the  Hungarian  ladies  as  I  ob- 
served them  this  evening.  I  had  heard  that  the 
tone  of  society  in  Pest  was  not  so  strict  as  it 
might  be,  but  I  protest  it  was  not  only  quite  as 
strict,  but  even  a  little  more  so  than  would  have 
suited  my  taste.  I  could  not  see  a  symptom 
even  of  an  innocent  flirtation  !  and  I  almost  doubt 
if  one  could  be  carried  on  with  any  degree  of 
satisfaction ;  for  it  is  the  fashion  for  two  ladies 

G    G   2 

452  A   BALL. 

to  walk  and  sit  together,  so  that  go  to  whom  you 
will,  there  is  always  a  third  person  in  the  conver- 
sation ;  and  I  refer  to  any  man  experienced  in  such 
matters,  if  it  is  possible  to  utter  sweet  nothings 
with  due  effect,  except  as  the  Germans  say,  unter 
vier  Augen — between  four  eyes.  Nor  is  this  cus- 
tom confined  to  the  young  ladies,  the  dowagers  are 
equally  cautious ;  not  one  of  them  ventures  into  a 
ball-room  without  her  friendly  guardian.  In  some 
cases  it  was  amusing  enough  to  mark  how  know- 
ingly this  choice  had  been  made, — how  the  beauty 
had  chosen  her  contrast  in  the  plain  and  humble — 
how  the  friend  of  the  pretending  was  the  modest 
and  unassuming. 

To  us,  as  strangers,  French  was  the  language  in 
which  we  were  commonly  addressed,  but  amongst 
themselves  German  was  universally  used.  Some  of 
the  younger  members  of  the  party  spoke  English 
fluently,  and  one  of  the  little  children  of  the  house, 
only  four  years  old,  seemed  as  well  master  of  it  as 
we  were.  I  am  afraid  it  would  not  be  saying  much 
for  the  conversation,  if  I  pronounced  it  as  good  as  is 
met  with  in  drawing-rooms  elsewhere ;  but  in  truth, 
where  dancing  is  so  serious  a  business  as  here,  there 
is  but  little  time  for  talking. 

The  suite  of  rooms  thrown  open  was  handsome 
and  well  adapted  to  the  purposes  of  a  ball.  The 
first  room  was  filled  with  dancers,  who  slid  over 
the  well-polished  floors  to  Strauss'  quickest  airs; 
the  second,  a  large  drawing-room,  was  covered 


with  ottomans,  lounging  chairs,  and  all  the  other 
necessary  nothings  which  make  up  drawing-room  fur- 
niture, while  the  walls  were  hung  with  good  speci- 
mens of  English  and  French  engravings;  the  third 
room  was  half  boudoir,  half  study,  and  its  tables 
groaned  beneath  the  weight,  if  weight  they  can  be 
said  to  have,  of  heaps  of  annuals  and  books  of 
beauty;  while  the  last  of  the  suite  was  very  taste- 
fully disposed  as  a  refreshment-room.  The  dancing 
was  kept  up  with  great  spirit  -till  about  twelve 
o'clock,  when  a  second  suite  of  rooms  on  the  other 
side  of  the  ball-room  was  opened,  and  a  supper 
was  laid  out  to  which  ample  justice  was  done. 
Supper  over,  and  the  champagne  seemed  to  have 
lent  new  wings  to  the  dance ;  for  when  we  left  at 
two,  there  were  then  no  symptoms  of  the  party's 
breaking  up. 

Now  in  all  this  I  can  see  very  little  that  is  re- 
markable, albeit  much  that  is  agreeable ;  and  there- 
fore, with  a  hint  that  such  things  were  going  on 
most  days  of  the  week,  and  that  we  were  fortunate 
enough  to  be  at  once  admitted  into  the  midst  of 
them,  I  shall  leave  them  for  a  while  and  pass  on  to 
other  matters.  The  contrast,  however,  so  rapidly 
brought  before  us  of  the  snow-covered  Puszta  and 
its  skin-clad  peasants,  with  the  luxurious  capital 
and  its  elegant  crowds,  did  strike  us  most  forcibly 
at  this  ball.  There  are  few  places  where  the  real 
contrast  between  excessive  luxury  and  abject 
misery  is  so  great  as  in  London,  but  its  outward 


appearance  is  still  greater  here.  When  we  looked 
at  the  delicate  women  who  filled  the  salons  of  the 
Baroness  O ,  and  thought  of  the  roads  they  tra- 
velled over,  the  inns  they  sometimes  slept  in,  and  the 
rude,  savage  peasantry  by  whom  they  were  often 
surrounded,  it  seemed  as  if  there  must  be  two  indi- 
viduals to  occupy  such  different  positions. 

Pest  has  a  university,  founded  as  far  back  as 
1635,  and  enriched  by  Maria  Theresa,  Joseph  the 
Second,  and  Francis,  with  gifts  of  large  estates,  so 
that  its  annual  revenue  amounts  to  thirty-four  thou- 
sand pounds.  It  boasts,  at  the  present  time,  one 
hundred  and  four  professors,  tutors,  and  others, 
and  one  thousand  students.  There  are  libraries, 
museums,  and  all  the  other  essentials  to  a  learned 
institution.  Of  the  professors,  there  are  nine 
theological,  six  juridical,  thirteen  medical,  fourteen 
philosophical,  and  one  each  for  the  Hungarian, 
German,  French,  and  Italian  languages.  The  most 
eminent  of  these  is  Professor  Schedius,  the  editor 
of  a  splendid  new  map  of  Hungary,  still  in  pro- 
gress, whose  name  is  never  mentioned  without  ex- 
pressions of  admiration  and  respect. 

I  have  incidentally  spoken  of  schools,  and  educa- 
tion in  several  parts  of  these  volumes,  but  the  sub- 
ject is  so  important  that  I  trust  I  shall  be  excused 
if  I  resume  as  shortly  as  possible  the  statistics  *  of 
education  in  Hungary,  that  we  may  see  how  far  the 

*  For  most  of  these  details  I  am  indebted  to  the  often-quoted 
work,  the  "  Gemalde  of  Csaplovics." 


effects,  as  we  have  observed  them,  answer  to  what 
might  be  expected  from  them. 

It  was  in  the  reign  of  Maria  Theresa,  that  a  ge- 
neral attempt  was  first  made  to  extend  education 
into  every  town  and  village  of  Hungary.  As  early 
as  1500,  the  Protestants  had  made  great  progress  in 
educating  the  poor  of  their  own  church,  but  during 
the  many  persecutions  to  which  they  had  been  sub- 
ject, their  schools  were  destroyed,  and  the  funds  con- 
verted to  other  purposes,  so  that  the  Hungarians, 
as  a  nation,  may  be  said  to  have  been  previously 
without  education.  The  system  of  Maria  Theresa 
was  followed  up  by  Joseph,  who,  under  the  name  of 
mixed  schools,  brought  all  sects  and  religions  toge- 
ther under  the  same  masters.  This  was  in  itself 
sufficient  to  excite  the  opposition  of  the  Hungarians, 
bigoted  and  intolerant  as  they  then  were  ;  but  even 
had  this  difficulty  been  got  over,  the  mixed  schools 
were  condemned  to  popular  hatred  by  being  made 
the  medium  for  the  introduction  of  the  German  lan- 
guage, and  the  consequent  destruction  of  Hungarian 
nationality.  After  the  death  of  Joseph,  the  mixed 
schools,  except  in  some  few  places,  were  given  up, 
and  each  religion  was  left  to  educate  its  own  mem- 
bers after  its  own  fancy,  the  Catholic,  however, 
alone  receiving  aid  and  encouragement  from  Go- 

At  the  present  time  there  is  scarcely  a  village  in 
Hungary  without  one  or  more  schools.  Where  the 
inhabitants  are  all  of  one  religion,  there  are  no 

456  SCHOOLS. 

difficulties  to  be  overcome.  Where  differences  exist, 
if  the  separate  creeds  are  too  poor  to  maintain  a 
school  each,  the  poorer  attend  that  of  the  more 
powerful,  which  is  commonly  Catholic ;  the  Pro- 
testant children,  however,  not  being  forced  to  take 
a  part  in  the  religious  instruction,  which  is  left  to 
the  priest,  or,  still  more  commonly,  to  his  capellan  or 
clerk.  The  education  extends  to  reading,  writing, 
arithmetic,  catechism,  Klugheits  Regeln,  or  moral 
maxims,  and  sometimes  a  little  geography,  history, 
and  Latin  Grammar.  These  schools  are  maintained, 
and  the  masters  chosen,  by  the  peasants  themselves, 
the  landlord  being  obliged  to  give  ground  for  a 
school-house,  and  thirty  or  forty  acres  of  land  for 
the  use  of  the  master.  The  payment  is  for  the 
most  part  in  kind  and  labour.  There  are  normal 
schools  in  different  parts  of  the  country,  for  the 
education  of  masters  for  the  national  schools.** 

Besides  these  national  schools,  which  may  be  said 
to  be  common  to  all  religions,  the  Catholics  have 
fifty-nine  Gymnasia,  and  six  Archigymnasia,  in  which 
the  course  of  education  lasts  six  years.  These  are 
chiefly  under  the  direction  of  the  Piarists  and  other 
religious  orders.  The  easier  Latin  classics  and 

*  Within  these  last  few  years  infant  schools,  on  the  model  of 
those  of  England  and  France,  have  been  instituted,  chiefly  through 
the  zeal  and  perseverance  of  the  Countess  Theresa  Brunswick. 
As  yet,  however,  though  they  seem  to  have  succeeded  better  than 
could  have  been  expected,  they  are  too  recent,  and  in  too  small 
numbers,  to  have  had  so  beneficial  an  influence  as  they  seem  well 
capable  of  exercising. 

SCHOOLS.  457 

other  common  branches  of  education  are  taught 
in  those  institutions. 

They  have  also  six  Philosophical  schools,  where 
Greek  and  mathematics  are  taught ;  five  academies, 
teaching  physics,  logic,  metaphysics,  and  law ;  and 
several  seminaries  for  training  up  the  priesthood, 
besides  the  University  of  Pest,  of  which  we  have 
already  spoken. 

Of  the  Protestants,  the  Reformed  have  the  most 
perfectly  organized  system  of  education.  Besides 
the  national  schools  they  have  many  Latin  schools 
for  the  peasantry,  in  which  the  course  extends  over 
four  years ;  they  have  gymnasia  also,  and  three 
great  colleges,  viz.  those  of  Debreczen,  Saros  Patak, 
and  Papa. 

The  chief  school  of  the  Lutherans  is  the  Lyceum 
at  Presburg,  which  possesses  sixteen  teachers ;  be- 
sides which  they  have  three  similar  institutions, 
and  eleven  gymnasia. 

The  members  of  the  Greek  church  are  the  worst 
provided  of  any  with  the  means  of  education  ;  but 
they  are  said  to  be  rapidly  improving  in  this  respect. 
In  addition  to  the  Lyceum  of  Karlowitz,  they  have 
four  other  institutions  of  the  higher  order,  and 
between  one  and  two  thousand  elementary  schools. 

Now,  with  such  machinery  for  educating,  what  is 
the  state  of  knowledge  in  the  country  at  large  ? 
Is  it  greater  or  less  than  that  found  among  the 
same  classes  of  society  in  our  own  country,  where  the 
number  of  schools  is  much  less  ?  I  have  no  hesi- 


tation  in  saying  that  it  is  much  lower.  To  the 
numerical  philosophers  —  those  who  calculate  men's 
intelligence  and  morality  as  they  would  the  distance 
of  the  stars, — it  may  appear  paradoxical  that  schools 
and  education  should  not  mean  the  same  thing ;  yet 
assuredly  they  do  not.  Education  may  be  made  the 
means  of  training  to  ignorance  as  well  as  to  know- 
ledge ;  and  I  know  of  no  better  exemplification  of 
this  fact  than  the  system  of  instruction  pursued  by 

Without  entering  into  the  details  of  this  sys- 
tem, let  me  give  the  reader  the  result  of  a  thorough 
inquiry  into  it  made  by  one  of  our  countrymen  liv- 
ing in  Vienna.  In  answer  to  my  question  of  what 
were  the  effects  of  the  Austrian  education,  he 
answered,  "  In  one  word  —  stultification."  "  If  a 
student,"  he  continued,  "  obtains  a  first  class  certifi- 
cate, you  may  be  sure  he  is  a  fool ;  if  a  second, 
he  may  be  not  more  than  ordinarily  ignorant ;  but 
if  he  get  only  the  lowest,  he  runs  a  fair  chance  of 
being  a  clever  fellow.  The  course  of  study  is  so 
laborious,  and  at  the  same  time  the  books  to  be 
read,  the  comments  to  be  listened  to,  and  all  things 
to  be  learnt,  are  so  adapted  to  shut  out  every  idea 
of  what  is  great  or  good,  or  beautiful,  that  one 
who  has  followed  out  the  system,  is  not  only  less 
wise  than  before,  for  what  he  has  learnt ;  but,  from 
the  time  that  has  been  occupied,  it  is  impossible 
also  that  he  should  have  devoted  any  attention  to 
the  acquisition  of  better  things." 


Nor  do  others  give  a  more  favourable  report. 
Even  M.  St.  Marc  Girardin,  who  appears  rather 
as  the  advocate  of  the  system,  states  that  it  is 
admirably  contrived  for  preventing  any  develope- 
ment  of  the  higher  mental  faculties.  The  Govern- 
ment, in  its  paternal  solicitude,  considers  the  higher 
branches  of  knowledge  unfit  for  the  tender  minds  of 
its  children,  as  it  might  only  lead  them  to  plague 
their  heads  about  matters  which  are  better  left  to 
the  direction  of  their  superiors.  It  has  accordingly 
endeavoured  to  direct  all  their  energies  to  the 
cultivation  of  material  knowledge  ;  and  by  con- 
centrating their  whole  force  on  that,  to  raise  the 
country  to  a  very  high  state  of  material  develope- 
ment.  Admitting,  for  a  moment,  that  such  an 
object  is  a  wise  and  good  one, — how  has  it  been 
answered  ?  Do  we  find  the  Austrian  in  agriculture, 
in  trade,  in  commerce,  in  the  fine  arts,  in  science, 
or  in  any  one  thing  —  save  perhaps,  fiddling  and 
waltzing — before  the  rest  of  Europe  ?  The  Govern- 
ment has  been  foolish  enough  to  believe  that  it 
could  use  the  energies  of  the  human  mind  as  it 
would  those  of  a  steam-engine — it  has  been  ignorant 
of  the  well-known  fact,  that  it  is  only  in  freedom 
that  the  mind  can  work  out  anything  pre-eminently 
good,  whether  in  the  sciences,  in  literature,  or  in 
the  mere  mechanical  arts. 

And  yet  there  are  many  well-meaning  people  who 
recommend  the  Austrian  system  to  the  imitation 
of  England !  No,  God  forbid  we  should  imitate 


Austria !  I  allow  we  are  as  badly  off  for  education 
as  a  people  can  well  be,  but  yet  it  is  a  thousand 
times  better  to  remain  as  we  are  than  to  have  a 
half-priest  half-police  directed  system,  which  would 
impose  such  chains  on  our  understandings,  that 
through  our  whole  lives  we  should  never  be  able 
to  break  loose  from  them.  The  advocates  of  the 
Austrian  system  forget  that  there  are  other  sources 
of  knowledge  besides  books,  other  teachers  amongst 
us  than  our  pedagogues,  and  stronger  stimulants 
to  knowledge  than  even  their  well-soaked  birch. 
It  is  scarcely  possible  to  live  in  a  populous  country 
like  England,  with  a  free  press,  and  a  Protestant 
church,  and  remain  very  ignorant.  Our  ears,  our 
eyes,  our  every  sense  conveys  knowledge  to  the 
mind  at  every  moment,  from  every  object  by  which 
we  are  surrounded.  Reading  and  writing  are  very 
useful  as  the  keys  to  the  door  of  knowledge;  but 
if  we  are  not  allowed  to  use  them  when  we  have 
acquired  them,  we  might  really  be  as  well  without 
them.  Now  something  of  this  Austrian  system  has 
been  introduced  into  the  schools  of  Hungary,  par- 
ticularly among  the  Catholics.  The  press,  too,  is 
stifled  by  an  Austrian  censorship,  and  when  to  this 
is  united  the  political  condition  in  which  the 
peasantry  live,  we  shall  scarcely  be  astonished  that, 
though  they  all  go  to  school,  and  though  many  of 
them  can  read  and  write  in  two  or  three  languages, 
they  are  yet  much  more  ignorant,  than  the  English 
peasant  who  often  cannot  read  or  write  his  own. 

LAW   AND   LAWYERS.  461 

I  know  there  are  many  of  the  Hungarians, —  and 
some  of  the  wisest  among  them  too, —  who  do  not 
desire  that  the  education  of  the  peasantry  should 
proceed  any  further  till  they  have  been  placed  in 
a  better  position  as  to  their  civil  rights.  They  fear 
lest  the  educated  peasant  should  become  aware  of 
the  rights  he  ought  to  have,  before  others  have 
learnt  that  they  ought  to  grant  them  to  him,  and 
that  a  revolution  rather  than  a  reform  might  be  the 
consequence.  This  is  a  sort  of  double-edged  argu- 
ment very  dangerous  to  wield,  for  it  may  be  applied 
with  equal  force  the  other  way ;  and  in  England  we 
have  too  often  heard  of  the  folly  of  giving  rights 
to  men  not  educated  to  use  them,  to  allow  it  any 
weight.  I  suspect  there  is  much  more  danger,  that 
unless  the  peasantry  do  demand  their  rights,  and 
somewhat  loudly  too,  they  will  never  obtain  them. 
I  do  not  think  there  is  an  example  in  history  of 
an  oligarchy  —  the  very  essence  of  which  is  self- 
ishness,— having  yielded  up  their  own  privileges, 
or  restored  to  others  their  usurped  rights,  except 
when  they  have  no  longer  dared  to  refuse  them. 
That  the  Hungarians  may  form  an  exception  —  a 
glorious  exception,  to  such  blind  egoism  —  is  my 
most  earnest  wish ;  but  I  would  not  on  that  account 
neglect  the  more  certain  means  of  accomplishing 
the  end,  should  that  wish  remain  unfulfilled. 

One  of  my  greatest  neglects  on  my  former  visit 
to  Pest,  had  been  to  make  some  inquiries  about  the 
laws  and  lawyers  here.  I  had  no  very  favourable 


opinion  of  them ;  for  I  recollected  that  some  years 
before,  when  travelling  in  Austria,  I  happened  to 
fall  in  with  a  very  agreeable  old  gentleman,  who 
proved  to  be  a  general  in  the  Austrian  service,  and 
among  other  subjects  our  conversation  turned  on 
the  advantages  of  the  different  forms  of  government 
in  our  two  countries.  In  answer  to  my  accusation, 
that  the  secrecy  and  espionnage  of  the  Austrian 
Government  encouraged  corruption  in  its  officers, 
and  that  even  the  administration  of  justice  was  open 
to  bribery,  he  laughed  outright  at  my  simplicity, 
and  assured  me  that  the  same  things  took  place  in 
England,  and  everywhere  else.  Although  the  gene- 
ral's remark  did  not  convince  me  of  the  existence 
of  this  corruption  in  England,  it  taught  me  to 
what  an  extent  it  must  have  prevailed  in  his  own 
country,  before  it  could  have  destroyed  in  his 
mind  all  belief  even  in  the  purity  of  justice  else- 
where. Bearing  this  occurrence  in  mind,  I  in- 
quired of  some  Hungarians  the  state  of  the  supreme 
courts  of  justice  in  Hungary;  for  as  they  do 
not  act  during  the  sitting  of  the  Diet,  I  had  no 
opportunity  of  observing  them  myself.  I  am  sorry 
to  say,  I  found  them  but  little  better  than  those 
of  Austria.  One  of  my  informants  said  they  were 
not  so  bad,  however,  as  they  used  to  be ;  "  the 
judges  don't  like  to  take  bribes  openly  now  ! " 
The  same  gentleman  mentioned  an  instance  in 
which  one  of  his  own  family  had  bought  a  judge, 
with  the  gift  of  an  estate  for  the  duration  of  his 


life.  It  is  the  custom  for  both  plaintiffs  and  de- 
fendants to  make  private  visits  to  the  judges  pre- 
viously to  trial,  in  order  to  instruct  them  as  to  the 
nature  of  the  causes,  and  we  can  all  guess  what 
arguments  on  such  occasions  would  be  likely  to 
have  the  most  weight.  The  two  highest  courts  of 
justice  are  the  Royal  Table  and  Septem- Viral 
Table,*  the  members  of  both  of  which,  at  least  the 
greater  number,  are  appointed  by  the  Crown.  If 
I  am  not  much  mistaken,  they  are  removable  also 
at  the  will  of  the  Crown. 

The  reader  may  be  surprised  that  I  should  have 
taken  so  much  trouble  in  many  parts  of  this  work 
to  point  out  the  corruption  which  pervades  every 
part  of  the  Austrian  administration  in  Hungary.  I 
have  not  done  so  for  my  own  pleasure.  It  is  no 
delight  to  me  to  seek  out  the  deformities  of  the 
social  system,  and  to  hold  them  up  to  public  gaze ; 
but  I  have  felt  it  in  this  case  a  duty  to  do  so,  for  I 
believe  it  is  on  such  facts  that  the  character  of  a  Go- 
vernment depends.  I  believe  that  no  tyranny  could 
exercise  so  demoralizing,  so  debasing  an  influence 

*  The  Royal  Table  is  composed  of  the  Personal  (president  also 
of  the  lower  chamber  of  the  Diet),  two  prelates,  two  barones 
tabulae,  the  vice-palatine,  the  vice-judex  curisD,  four  prothonota- 
ries,  the  crown -fiscal  and  three  royal,  two  archiepiscopal,  and 
three  supernumerary  assessors.  In  mining  causes,  a  mining 
assessor  is  added. 

The  Septem-Viral  (so  called  because  originally  composed  of 
seven  persons),  is  now  formed  of  the  Palatine  as  president,  five  of 
the  higher  clergy,  ten  magnates,  and  six  gentlemen. 

464  DELAYS   OF   THE   LAW. 

on  the  human  mind,  as  this  corruption  on  the  part 
of  those  whose  station  and  power  in  society  should 
fit  them  to  be  its  guides  to  what  is  good  and  great. 
There  is  another  circumstance  connected  with 
the  administration  of  justice  in  Hungary,  which 
is  scarcely  less  grievous— I  mean  its  long  delays. 
The  evil  is  very  great,  when  delay  interferes  with 
the  settlement  of  civil  causes ;  but  what  shall  we 
say  of  it  when,  as  here,  it  prevails  equally  in  crimi- 
nal cases.  Mr.  Hallam  remarks  somewhere,  that 
there  is  a  period  in  the  history  of  nations,  when 
the  procrastination  of  the  law,  instead  of  an  evil, 
is  the  only  means  afforded  to  the  weak,  to  protect 
themselves  against  the  power  and  violence  of  the 
strong.  In  some  cases,  this  might  appear,  at  first 
sight,  the  case  in  Hungary ;  but  it  should  not  be 
forgotten,  that  an  act  of  injustice,  of  which  the 
execution  is  thus  delayed,  though  it  loses  none  of 
its  bitterness  to  the  victim,  loses  greatly  in  its  effect 
on  the  public  mind.  The  tyrant  obtains  his  end, 
but  the  people  are  less  shocked  with  the  tyranny, 
because  they  have  long  contemplated  its  possibility. 
The  most  striking  illustration  of  this  delay  which  I 
ever  remember  to  have  seen,  was  at  St.  Benedek, 
in  the  valley  of  the  Gran.  About  the  gates  of  the 
castle,  I  observed  a  number  of  very  old  men  in 
chains;  and  on  inquiring  how  long  ago,  and  for 
what  crime  these  greybeards  had  been  put  in  prison, 
I  found  they  had  been  confined  only  a  few  months, 
though  it  was  for  having  excited  an  insurrection  of 


the  peasants  some  fifty  years  ago  that  they  had  been 
condemned.  The  process  had  actually  lasted  fifty 
years,  and  these  old  men  were  now  condemned  to 
spend  the  remainder  of  their  lives  in  prison,  for  a 
crime  committed  in  their  youth,  and  of  which  all 
recollection  had  passed  away ! 

A  dinner  party,  to  which  we  were  invited  soon 
after  our  return,  introduced  us  to  two  of  the  most 
distinguished  among  the  modern  literati  of  Hun- 
gary, Mr.  Kb'lcsey  and  Baron  Josika. 

Kb'lcsey  has  all  that  simplicity  of  manner  about 
him  which  so  often  distinguishes  true  genius.  His 
poetry  is  said  to  be  characterised  by  vigour  and 
originality.  At  the  present  moment,  he  is  even 
more  popular  as  a  deputy  and  orator  than  as  a  poet. 
Of  course,  a  poet  must  be  a  Liberal  in  a  country 
where  everything  which  can  excite  a  poet's  affec- 
tions or  fancy  is  engaged  in  the  cause  of  Libe- 
ralism ;  and  few  have  defended  it  with  more 
eloquence  or  firmness  than  Kolcsey. 

Although  Hungary  has  boasted  poets,  even  from 
an  early  period  of  her  history,  of  whose  works  con- 
siderable remains  still  exist;  and  although  I  feel 
sure,  that  among  the  people  there  is  an  abundant 
harvest  of  ancient  lyrical  and  legendary  lore  still  to 
be  gathered,  yet  it  was  not  till  the  close  of  the  last, 
or  the  commencement  of  the  present  century,  that 
Magyar  poetry  could  be  said  to  take  a  stand  with 
that  of  the  other  European  nations.  During  the 
last  half  of  the  past  century,  Faludi,  Raday,  Barc- 

VOL.  n.  H  H 


sai,  R£vai,  and  some  others,  prepared  the  taste  for 
relishing  Hungarian  song,  introduced  into  it  a 
greater  freedom,  and  showed  the  capability  of  the 
language  for  a  higher  strain  than  it  had  hitherto 
been  esteemed  fit  for.  But  it  was  Joseph's  violent 
attack  on  the  very  existence  of  the  language,  which 
awoke  throughout  the  nation  all  its  sympathy  and 
love  for  it ;  and  the  lyres  of  the  Kisfaludis  (Sandor 
and  Karolyi),  of  a  Kazinczi,  a  Berzsenyi,  a  Kolcsey, 
a  Vorosmarty,  and  a  host  of  minor  luminaries, 
responded  to  the  sentiment.  Hungarians  speak  of 
Kisfaludi  Sandor,  with  a  degree  of  enthusiasm  that 
shows  that  he  has  not  only  been  able  to  please  the 
imagination,  but  has  known  the  secret  of  touching 
a  nation's  heart.  Vorosmarty  and  Kolcsey  are  still 
living :  long  may  they  remain  to  adorn  and  elevate 
the  much-loved  language  of  their  father-land  ! 

While  poetry  had  been  making  these  rapid  ad- 
vances, it  was  not  to  be  expected  that  the  influence 
of  the  rest  of  Europe  in  the  cultivation  of  prose 
romance,  should  be  entirely  lost  on  Hungary.  Se- 
veral novelists  and  romance  writers  have  arisen, 
some  of  whose  works  may  fairly  pretend  to  more 
than  a  temporary  existence  ;  but  it  is  admitted,  that 
Baron  Josika  Miklos  has  fairly  outstripped  all  his 
rivals  in  this  contest.  His  first  work  *  was  "  Abafi," 

*  A  German  translation  of  Josika's  works,  (1839),  now  lies 
before  me,  in  eight  vols.  12mo.  It  consists  of  "Abafi;"  "The 
LastB&thori;"  "The  Fickle;"  "  Decebalus ;"  "The  True  Un- 
true;" "The  Suttee." 

BARON    JOSIKA.  467 

a  page  from  the  history  of  Transylvania,  under  her 
native  princes.  The  time  chosen  is  the  reign  of 
the  weak  and  vacillating  Bathori  Zsigmund.  In 
addition  to  considerable  power  in  the  delineation 
of  character  and  the  illustration  of  a  high  moral  prin- 
ciple, which  Baron  Josika  always  proposes  to  him- 
self in  the  plot  of  his  novels,  Abafi  contains  some 
delightful  sketches  of  the  past.  The  wild  romantic 
life  of  the  border  robber  stands  in  bold  contrast 
with  the  quiet  and  domestic  scenes  of  the  interior 
of  a  noble  and  virtuous  household.  Old  Klausen- 
burg,  too,  is  brought  back  in  lively  colours  before  us, 
as  history  and  its  present  remains  assure  us  it  was 
at  that  period.  "The  last  Bathori"  is  another 
historical  romance,  which  takes  Bathori  Gabor, 
Prince  of  Transylvania,  for  its  hero.  The  picture 
of  manners  during  a  period  (1608  to  1613)  of  almost 
constant  intestine  war,  aggravated  in  some  instances 
by  hatred  of  race,  is  drawn  with  vivid  colouring. 
The  domestic  virtues  of  the  Saxons,  among  whom 
a  great  part  of  the  events  take  place ;  their  firm 
adherence  to  their  rights,  and  their  brave  opposi- 
tion to  the  tyranny  of  the  Transylvanian  princes ;  the 
cruel  and  insulting  persecution  to  which  they  were 
subjected,  and  the  lawless  violence  which  was  em- 
ployed against  them  when  there  was  no  longer  need 
of  their  arms,  or  purses,  are  admirably  brought  into 
play.  Nor,  to  those  who  know  the  country,  is  it 
less  gratifying  to  perceive  the  sentiments  of  kind- 
liness which  have  animated  an  Hungarian  writer  on 

H  H    2 


a  subject  in  which  Hungarian  prejudices  are  sin- 
gularly  strong  and  susceptible.  Of  the  other  works 
of  Baron  Josika,  I  need  not  speak,  as  they  want 
the  charm  of  nationality,  and  that  impress  of  truth 
and  reality,  which  can  alone  convey  an  interest 
and  sympathy  to  others.  From  this  censure,  how- 
ever, I  must  exempt  "  The  True  Untrue,"  were  it 
only  for  the  excellent  sketch  it  contains  of  the 
feelings  and  opinions  of  the  gentry  of  the  old  school 
in  the  person  of  a  county  magistrate. 

In  the  fine  arts  Hungary  has  made  but  little 
progress.  Even  in  the  most  wealthy  houses  paint- 
ings are  very  rare.  I  believe  the  only  painter  born 
in  Hungary,  whose  name  is  at  all  known  to  history, 
is  Gottfried  Mind,  called  the  Cats'  Raphael,  from 
his  admirable  knowledge  and  delineation  of  his 
favourites,  the  cats.  The  only  living  painter  of 
any  eminence  is  Marko,  now  in  Rome,  whose  beau- 
tiful landscapes  and  classical  figures  are  well  known 
and  highly  esteemed.  In  sculpture,  I  have  seen 
one  or  two  pieces  of  Ferenczi,  which,  though  not 
without  merit,  are  far  below  the  estimation  in 
which  they  are  held  here.  The  most  extraordinary 
work  of  art  I  have  seen  in  Hungary,  is  an  alto- 
relievo  in  copper,  which  we  were  shown  while  yet 
in  progress.  The  artist,  Szentpeteri,  is  a  poor  sil- 
versmith, who  after  a  few  essays  of  little  impor- 
tance, has  undertaken  to  copy  Le  Brun's  picture4 
of  the  battle  of  Arbela,  from  an  engraving  in  alto- 
relievo  on  copper.  The  work  was  about  three  parts 

THE   THEATRE.  469 

finished,  and  showed,  not  only  wonderful  industry 
and  perseverance,  but  a  degree  of  talent  and  taste 
from  which  great  things  might  have  been  produced 
under  proper  cultivation.  The  figures  are  hammered 
out  from  the  inside  when  the  metal  is  so  hot  as  to 
be  easily  malleable.*  The  artist  is  an  exceedingly 
simple  unpretending  person,  whose  whole  soul  seems 
wrapped  up  in  his  work. 

In  music,  Liszt  and  Mademoiselle  linger  place 
Hungary  in  more  than  a  respectable  position ;  but 
they,  as  well  as  Marko  and  Szentpeteri,  are  obliged 
to  seek  in  other  climes  for  encouragement  and  pa- 

The  theatre  for  the  performance  of  German 
pieces  here,  is  almost  as  large  as  the  great  theatres 
of  Paris  or  London  ;  but  it  is  a  gloomy  looking 
place  and  badly  adapted  for  the  transmission  of 
sound.  The  ordinary  company  is  a  pretty  good  one, 
and  most  of  the  great  actors  who  come  to  Vienna 
pay  a  visit  to  Pest  before  their  return,  so  that  it  is 
by  no  means  ill  supplied.  Since  we  have  been 
here,  we  have  had  Madame  Schroeder  Devrient  and 
an  opera  company,  and  still  later,  Anchiitz,  the 
tragic  actor  from  Vienna.  Even  our  own  best 
tragedians  might  take  lessons  from  Anchiitz  in 
the  representation  of  their  own  Shakspearean  cha- 

There  is  an  Hungarian  theatre  in  Buda  which  I 

*  This  work  was  exhibited  in  London  in  1838,  but  did  not 
excite  so  much  attention  as  it  merited. 


have  not  seen,  and  a  new  theatre  is  erecting  in  Pest, 
which  is  to  be  devoted  entirely  to  Hungarian 
pieces.  The  establishment  of  this  theatre  is  looked 
forward  to  with  the  greatest  interest,  as  an  object 
of  national  importance,  from  the  influence  it  is  cal- 
culated to  exert  in  the  diffusion  and  cultivation 
of  the  language. 

It  would  not  be  right  to  quit  this  subject  without 
saying  a  few  words  relative  to  this  same  Magyar 
language,  to  which  such  frequent  allusion  has  been 
made ;  and  although  I  do  not  think  my  half-dozen 
lessons  in  Hungarian  give  me  the  right  to  speak 
on  the  matter  ex  cathedra — albeit,  many  travellers 
do  so  with  still  less — I  may  venture  a  remark  on 
two  or  three  grammatical  peculiarities,  which  ap- 
pear to  me  the  most  interesting.  I  have  before  ob- 
served that  in  proper  names  the  surname  precedes 
the  Christian  name  —  as  that  of  the  genus  the 
species  in  natural  history  —  and  the  same  rule 
prevails  with  some  titles.  In  the  use  of  pro- 
nouns, it  is  singular  that  they  are  made  to  follow 
instead  of  precede  the  noun,  and  are  affixed  to  it ;— 
Kalap,  a  hat, — Kalap-am,  my  hat.  Both  these  pe- 
culiarities are,  I  believe,  common  to  the  Turkish 
language  also.  In  like  manner,  the  prepositions 
are  made  Compositions ; — Kalap-am-ba,  in  my  hat. 
In  consequence  of  this  joining  together  of  words^ 
the  Hungarians  can  construct  a  whole  sentence 
in  a  single  word,  and  the  following  is  often  given 
as  an  illustration ;  not  that  such  a  word  would  be 


used  in  conversation,  but  as  a  proof  of  how  far  it 
may  be  carried  ; — Ha  meg  Ko-pe-nye-ge-sit-te-len-nit~ 
teh-het-ne-lek — If  I  could  deprive  you  of  your  clothes. 
In  the  construction  of  verbs,  there  is  a  difference 
from  those  of  other  European  languages,  which  ren- 
ders a  true  knowledge  of  Hungarian  exceedingly 
difficult  to  the  foreigner.  This  is  the  existence  of 
a  determinate  and  indeterminate  form  of  every 
tense  and  mood.  It  is  easy  enough  to  understand 
the  principle  of  it,  but  exceedingly  difficult  to 
apply  it  correctly.  Ldtok,  I  see,  is  in  the  inde- 
terminate form ;  Idtom,  I  see  it,  in  the  determi- 
nate. In  the  same  way  Idtott  &  goz-hajot —  did 
you  see  a  steam-boat?  is  indeterminate, — Idtta  e 
a  goz-hajot  —  did.  you  see  the  steam-boat? — deter- 

That  the  Magyars  should  think  the  Magyar 
tongue  the  sweetest,  the  strongest,  the  fullest,  the 
best,  —  that  they  should  imagine  that  poetry  can 
never  flow  so  smoothly,  or  eloquence  speak  with  such 
energy  as  in  the  Magyar  nyelv,  is  quite  natural ; 
for  no  one  can  feel  all  the  beauties  of  a  language 
which  has  not  been  familiar  to  his  childhood ;  but 
they  must  not  be  astonished  if  a  stranger,  who  has 
only  got  into  his  grammar,  does  not  quite  agree 
\  with  them.  That  the  Magyar  is  forcible  aud  ener- 
i  getic,  I  believe ;  for  it  partakes  in  that  of  the  cha- 
racter of  the  people.  Its  sharp  and  accentuated 
syllables  give  it  a  character  of  distinctness  and 
precision,  and  its  accurate  division  into  long  and 


short  vowels  may  confer  on  it  a  certain  facility 
for  versification ;  but  as  for  its  soft  and  musical 
qualities,  I  must  confess  I  could  never  discover 
them.  The  Hungarian  ladies  say  it  is  the  best 
language  in  the  world  for  love-making: — I  can 
only  answer,  tant  pire  pour  nous  autres  Grangers. 

And  d  propos  of  the  language,  before  I  entirely 
quit  the  subject,  let  me  record  one  of  the  most 
single-minded  and  enthusiastic  adventures  I  ever 
heard  of,  and  which  is  intimately  connected  with  it. 
Nothing  puzzles  Hungarian  historians  more  than 
the  question  as  to  where  the  Magyars  came  from. 
One  traces  an  analogy  between  the  Magyar  lan- 
guage and  the  Finnish;  another  makes  the  Magyars 
Turks ;  others  trace  them  to  the  mountains  of  Cir- 
cassia,  and  some  again  throw  them  back  to  the 
wall  of  China.  The  assistance  which  language 
might  afford  in  this  investigation  has  not  been  neg- 
lected, but  hitherto  nothing  very  satisfactory  has 
been  made  out.  The  common  opinion,  however,  is 
in  favour  of  Thibet  as  the  place  of  their  origin,  and 
the  Caucasus  is  supposed  to  have  been  a  resting- 
place  in  the  course  of  their  western  emigration. 
It  was  in  1819,  that  this  subject  took  such  strong 
hold  of  the  mind  of  a  poor  Szekler  student  of  the 
name  of  Kb'rb'si,  that  he  determined,  after  finishing 
his  studies,  to  make  a  journey  into  these  countries 
to  try  if  he  could  not  solve  this  great  national  ques- 
tion. Though  noble,  Kb'rosi  had  no  fortune  what- 
soever, and  he  consequently  knew  that  he  should 

MR.  KOROSI.  473 

have  to  endure  all  the  additional  hardships  which 
the  greatest  poverty  could  place  in  the  way  of  a 
difficult  undertaking.  To  prepare  himself  to  en- 
counter them,  for  six  months  previous  to  setting 
out,  he  subjected  himself  to  the  most  severe  exer- 
cise, literally  living  on  bread  and  water,  and  sleep- 
ing on  the  hard  ground.  As  he  was  starting  on  his 
expedition,  he  happened  to  pass  through  the  village 
of  a  gentleman  with  whom  I  am  acquainted,  and 
who  met  him  and  invited  him  to  stay  and  dine  with 
him.  "  Impossible,"  said  the  single-minded  student; 
"  I  am  going  to  Thibet,  the  way  is  long,  and  I  must 
not  tarry  on  the  road,  or  my  life  may  be  too  short 
to  accomplish  it." 

In  1820,  Kbrbsi  had  reached  Teheran,  having 
passed  through  Circassia  without  having  obtained 
any  solution  to  the  question,  and  from  thence  he 
pushed  on  to  Thibet,  where  he  was  heard  of  in 
1822.  When  in  Constantinople,  in  1836,  a  gentle- 
man who  had  travelled  much  in  the  East,  told  me 
that  he  had  seen  Korb'si  only  the  year  before  in 
Calcutta ;  that  he  had  then  rooms  and  everything 
necessary  furnished  by  the  East  India  Company, 
and  that  he  was  actively  occupied  in  compiling 
lexicons  of  one  or  two  Thibet  languages,  of  the 
existence  even  of  which  no  one  had  been  previously 
aware.  Of  the  great  question,  the  original  seat 
of  the  Magyars,  this  gentleman  said  he  believed 
that  Korosi  had  not  arrived  at  any  satisfactory 
conclusion.  The  East  India  Company  had  been  de- 


sirous  to  engage  him  in  their  service  at  a  hand- 
some salary,  but  he  had  declined  it  as  of  no  use 
to  him. 

Among  other  matters  which  gave  life  to  the 
winter  in  Pest,  was  the  occurrence  of  a  little  revo- 
lution among  the  cobblers.  The  trades  in  Hungary 
are  still,  in  all  the  towns,  under  the  control  of  Com- 
panies or  Corporations,  as  they  formerly  were  with 
us.  The  consequence  is,  of  course,  as  in  all  other 
close  bodies,  a  great  oppression  of  the  weaker  mem- 
bers, and  it  appeared,  in  the  present  case,  that  the 
master  shoemakers  had  been  so  hard  upon  their 
workmen  that  the  latter  had  turned  out  and  com- 
mitted some  slight  excesses  before  the  biirger 
guard — a  sort  of  "train-band  knights," — could  re- 
duce them  to  order.  All  who  would  not  consent 
to  return  to  their  work,  were  very  unceremoni- 
ously presented  with  passports  and  "  recommended 
to  travel." 

No  one,  I  believe,  who  knows  anything  about  the 
matter,  believes  that  these  companies  are  now  of 
any  use — whatever  they  may  have  been  in  former 
times — save  to  enrich  a  few  bad  workmen  at  the 
expense  of  the  community  at  large ;  but  they  have 
managed  to  turn  them  to  account  in  Hungary,  in 
a  manner  I  never  heard  of  before.  In  cases  of 
fire,  every  company  is  obliged  to  attend  and  give 
assistance,  and  to  each  is  assigned  a  particular 
duty ;  to  the  masons,  for  instance,  the  climbing  the 
roofs ;  and  even  the  surgeons  are  obliged  to  be  in 


readiness  to  relieve  those  who  may  have  received 

I  believe  some  little  knowledge  of  national  cha- 
racter may  be  obtained  from  common  interna- 
tional jokes  and  stories,  and  I  may  therefore 
give  the  reader  one  or  two  about  the  Hungarians, 
current  among  the  Viennese.  Whether  I  have 
read  these  or  heard  them,  I  really  forget ;  but  as  I 
find  them  in  my  note-book,  I  must  give  them, 
although  they  may  be  quotations  from  an  Austrian 
Joe  Miller. 

Once  upon  a  time,  the  manager  of  an  Hunga- 
rian theatre  produced  what  he  considered  a  very 
fine  piece  of  scenery,  in  which  was  represented  a 
full  moon,  in  the  form  of  a  round,  fat,  clean-shaved 
face,  which  might  have  suited  a  Dutch  cherub. 
Instead  of  the  anticipated  applause,  the  luckless 
manager  found  his  scene  received  with  damning 
hisses ;  and  it  appeared  that  the  popular  indignation 
was  more  particularly  directed  against  the  "pale- 
faced  moon,"  "  the  German  moon,"  as  they  called  it. 
Now  as  the  Hungarians  like  their  moon,  as  well  as 
everything  else,  to  be  quite  national,  the  manager 
determined  to  please  them,  and  next  night  up  rose 
the  poor  moon  with  as  glorious  a  pair  of  mustaches 
as  the  fiercest  Magyar  amongst  them  could  exhibit. 
Hurrahs  burst  from  every  mouth  at  sight  of  this 
reform,  and  all  cried,  "  Long  live  our  own  true 
Magyar  moon,  and  confusion  to  all  German  moons 
for  ever  !  " — The  moon  had  evidently  been  brought 


up  at  court,  and  had  learnt  the  value  of  popular 
prejudices  to  those  who  know  how  to  use  them 
against  those  who  hold  them. 

Another  tale  against  the  poor  Hungarians  had 
its  origin  in  the  hatred  they  bear  to  the  knee- 
breeches  of  the  Germans.  One  of  the  Hungarian 
regiments,  quartered  during  summer  in  the  burning 
plains  of  Lombardy,  was  ordered  by  the  colonel  to 
parade  in  white  trousers,  which  had  just  been  given 
out,  instead  of  the  thick  blue  tights  they  had  pre- 
viously worn.  The  officers,  however,  found  it  no 
easy  matter  to  induce  compliance,  and  one  excuse 
or  another  was  always  found  for  delay,  till  at 
last  the  colonel  issued  a  second  order,  peremptorily 
fixing  a  day  for  the  change,  and  threatening 
severe  punishment  for  disobedience.  It  could  no 
longer  be  put  off,  and  the  men  accordingly  paraded 
in  whites;  but  determined  not  to  be  made  com- 
fortable in  anybody's  way  but  their  own,  they  all 
wore  their  thick  blues  underneath. 

Young  Baron  • entered  our  room  one  morn- 
ing evidently  much  excited,  and  as  he  concluded  a 
detail  of  some  new  trick  the  Government  had  just 
played  the  Diet,  he  exclaimed,  "  It  is  time  such 
treachery  were  ended ;  we  shall  never  have  any 
good  as  long  as  we  remain  attached  to  Austria, — I 
say  national  independence,  and  if  any  man  will 
raise  the  banner,  I  will  follow  it.  Happen  what 
may,  we  cannot  be  worse  off  than  we  are." 

"  Quietly,  friend,"  interrupted  an  older  gentleman, 


who  happened  to  be  present ;  "  you  do  not  mean 
what  you  say,  and  if  you  did,  it  would  be  sheer 
nonsense.  The  Austrian  Government  is  not  ill- 
intentioned,  but  it  is  stupid.  It  is  false  and 
treacherous,  I  allow,  but  rather  from  cowardice 
than  malice;  and  such  speeches  as  that  you  have 
just  made,  do  therefore  a  great  deal  of  mischief. 
Recollect  that  it  is  only  a  few  months  since  the 
Government  committed  a  gross  act  of  cruelty  and 
injustice  in  throwing  into  prison,  without  any  trial,  a 
number  of  young  men,  because  in  a  debating  society 
at  Presburg,  they  had  entertained  this  very  subject 
of  national  independence  ;  and,  where,  to  make  the 
matter  more  ridiculous,  they  had  quarrelled  as  to 
whether  Sz£chenyi  or  Wesselenyi  should  be  the  king 
of  their  new  Utopia.  A  Government  so  weak 
as  to  be  frightened  out  of  its  senses,  and  led  into 
acts  of  the  grossest  barbarity  about  so  silly  an  affair 
as  this,  should  be  treated  only  like  a  child,  and 
not  terrified  by  bugbears  which  have  no  reality. 
But,  if  you  speak  seriously  of  such  a  matter,  there 
are  one  or  two  points  it  would  be  well  for  you 
to  think  over  first.  You  should  recollect  that 
Hungary  is  surrounded  by  Austria,  Russia,  and 
Turkey,  none  of  them  countries  from  which  the 
advocates  of  freedom  could  expect  much  sym- 
pathy or  assistance.  And  then,"  continued  the 
old  gentleman,  as  the  Baron  was  about  to  inter- 
rupt him,  "  the  very  nature  of  the  country  is  such 
as  to  render  its  occupation  by  an  insurgent  army 


almost  impossible.  Full  half  of  Hungary,  and  that 
the  most  fruitful  half,  is  an  open  plain,  on  which 
ten  thousand  regular  troops  would  be  able  to  dis- 
sipate all  the  untrained  masses  you  could  bring 
against  them.  The  mountains  you  might  perhaps 
hold,  but  your  enemies  need  only  leave  you  there 
till  hunger  produced  discontent,  and  discontent  trea- 
chery, to  enable  them  to  secure  a  bloodless  victory." 

"As  for  Russia!"  answered  the  Baron,  "she  has 
quite  enough  to  do  to  check  liberalism  at  home, 
without  interfering  with  it  in  Hungary.  She  could 
exercise  no  power  here." 

"  I  think  you  conclude  too  hastily,"  I  observed, 
"  you  know  well  enough  you  are  divided  into  se- 
veral races,  and  several  religions.  You  know 
that  Russia  is  constantly  at  work  to  undermine 
the  fidelity  of  the  Sclavish  and  Wallack  portion  of 
your  population.  Of  the  ten  millions  of  which  you 
consist,  no  less  than  four  and  a  half  are  Sclaves." 

"  Yes,  but  allowing  your  calculation,  though  I 
think  you  overrate  it,  you  must  acknowledge  that 
the  Sclaves  are  divided  into  Sclavacks,  Rusniacks, 
Croatians,  and  Sclavonians,  and  that  they  hate  one 
another  quite  as  cordially  as  they  hate  the  Magyars, 
and  Russia  more  than  all." 

"Skilful  intrigue  might  still  do  much  mischief, 
and  Russia  would  be  likely  enough  in  secret  to 
promise  you  all  kinds  of  aid,  till  she  had  succeeded 
in  disorganizing  the  country  to  such  an  extent 
that  it  could  never  more  stand  betwixt  her  and 


the  objects  of  her  ambition.  Fortunately  the 
northern  Sclaves  are  chiefly  Catholic,  and  therefore 
free  from  Russian  influence  on  the  score  of  religion ; 
but  race  and  language  are  strong  bonds  of  union, 
and  if  to  these  be  added  the  dazzle  of  conquest, 
and  the  glory  of  belonging  to  a  powerful  people, 
they  are  not  to  be  despised.  Nor  are  the  Wai- 
lacks,  especially  if  those  of  Transylvania  be  taken 
into  the  account,  a  less  important  element  in  cal- 
culating the  weakness  of  the  position  you  would 
assume.  Their  attachment  to  the  Emperor  of 
Russia,  as  the  head  of  the  Russo-Greek  church,  is 
beyond  question.  I  know  some  of  the  bolder 
spirits  have  calculated,  that,  if  driven  by  Austria 
to  the  madness  of  revolt,  all  these  interests  might 
be  conciliated,  by  at  once  declaring  the  whole  body 
of  peasantry  free  from  seigneurial  jurisdiction,  and 
confirming  to  them  the  possession  of  their  land 
without  labour  or  rent.  Such,  however,  are  dan- 
gerous expedients,  and  would  scarcely  turn  to  the 
profit  of  any." 

"  There  are  certainly  difficulties  in  the  way,  and 
serious  ones,  I  allow,  but  men  forget  these  when 
driven  to  madness  as  we  are.  If  Austria  does  not 
change  her  policy  she  must  be  content  to  see 
Hungary  right  herself  before  long." 

"You  exaggerate,  dear  Baron,"  again  urged  our 
friend;  "things  are  not  quite  so  bad  as  you  re- 
present them;  and  as  to  what  fate  may  have  in 
store  for  our  fatherland  in  the  distant  future,  we 


cannot  now  tell;  but  as  matters  stand  at  present, 
the  advocate  of  civil  war  in  Hungary  must  be  little 
less  than  a  madman.  The  day  may  come  when,  by 
the  combinations  of  European  policy,  the  empire 
of  Austria  shall  be  dismembered,  or  rather  fall  to 
pieces  of  itself,  and  Hungary,  strong  and  united,  be 
able  to  offer  to  its  king  a  throne  more  glorious 
than  that  he  filled  as  Emperor  of  Austria ;  but  in 
the  mean  time,  let  us  content  ourselves  with  those 
blessings  which  our  present  position  offers  us,  and 
direct  our  whole  efforts  to  improve  our  institutions, 
and  render  them  such  as  the  spirit  of  the  present 
age  requires." 

As  the  common  dinner  hour  at  Pest  is  two  or 
three  o'clock,  the  time  for  making  calls  is  between 
six  and  eight.  On  these  occasions,  it  is  the  custom 
to  dress  almost  as  for  an  evening  party ;  the  ladies 
in  caps  and  low  dresses,  the  gentlemen  in  silks  and 
shoes.  On  paying  a  visit  of  this  kind  at  the  house 
of  Madame  F ,  I  by  chance  interrupted  a  con- 
versation on  a  little  matter  of  scandal  which  had 
just  occurred  at  Milan,  between  a  certain  prince 
and  his  lady.  On  being  informed  of  the  nature  of  it, 
and  on  expressing  my  wonder  that  I  had  not  heard 
of  it  before,  one  of  the  ladies,  a  desperate  politician 
and  a  stanch  Austrian,  exclaimed,  "  No,  no !  we 
don't  publish  such  matters  in  our  newspapers,  as  you 
do !"  and  with  that  she  commenced  a  general  attack 
on  England  and  the  English,  from  which  I  was 
evidently  expected  to  defend  them.  The  abuse  of 


the  press  was  the  more  immediate  object  of  her  de- 
nunciation ;  and  very  justly  did  she  declaim  against 
the  immorality  of  certain  disclosures  in  a  celebrated 
crim.  con.  case,  which  had  then  just  astonished 
the  continental  public.  Our  libels  too  were  not 
more  tenderly  handled.  "  Nay,"  she  continued, 
"not  content  with  libelling  one  another,  you  must 
come  here  and  libel  us.  A  book,  I  see,  has  just 
been  published  in  England,  in  which  all  the  ladies 
of  Hungary  are  spoken  of  as  ignorant  and  unedu- 
cated !"  Of  course,  I  had  not  a  word  to  say  then 
in  my  defence,  but  I  think  I  have  a  fair  right  now 
to  revenge  myself  on  Mr.  Quin  for  getting  me  into 
such  a  scrape. 

Many,  I  dare  say,  remember  a  very  agreeably 
written  book,  called,  "A  Steam-boat  voyage  down 
the  Danube," — that  is,  from  Pest  to  below  Orsova, 
and  occupying  about  ten  days,  during  which  time 
the  author  thinks  he  has  collected  information  about 
Hungary  which  entitles  him  to  pronounce  opinions 
on  all  sorts  of  matters,  and  amongst  others,  on  the 
education  of  Hungarian  ladies. 

On  the  authority  of  his  not  understanding  the 
language  in  which  some  young  ladies  on  board  the 
steamer  conversed,  he  affirms  not  only  that  they 
spoke  no  other  language  than  Hungarian,  but  that 
such  was  generally  the  case.  Now  it  is  a  fact,  how- 
ever little  it  may  be  known  to  Mr.  Quin,  that  the 
education  of  Hungarian  ladies,  as  far  as  languages 
are  concerned,  is  very  much  more  advanced  than 

VOL.  II.  I  I 


that  of  English  or  French  ladies — ay,  or  gentlemen 
either — of  the  same  rank.     I  have  passed  a  consi- 

Iderable  time  in  the  country,  and  have  had  the 
opportunity  of  making  the  acquaintance  of  many 
Hungarian  ladies,  and  I  do  not  know  one  who  speaks 
only  Hungarian,  though  I  do  know  several  who  do 
not  speak  that  language.  It  is  accounted  one  of  the 
great  misfortunes  of  Hungary,  that,  instead  of  Hun- 
garian, German  is  the  common  language  used  in  most 
families ;  and  in  the  drawing-rooms  of  the  capital, 
German,  French,  and  even  English,  are  more  often 
heard  than  Hungarian.  If  it  were  not  calling  in 
question  our  author's  erudition, — to  which  he  makes 
^  some  pretension,  —  I  would  wager  that  German, 
and  not  Hungarian,  was  the  language  which  so 
terribly  puzzled  him.  Let  me  assure  Mr.  Quin 
that  all  Hungarian  ladies  speak  German,  most  of 
them  French,  many  English  and  Italian,  besides, 
what  to  Mr.  Quin  might  appear  barbarous  tongues, 
such  as  the  Magyar,  Sclavackish,  and  Wallachian. 
And  I  may  remark,  en  passant,  that  it  must  have  been 
peculiarly  difficult  for  the  pretty  Countess,  who 
he  says  spoke  neither  French  nor  Italian,  to  have 
communicated  with  the  French  femme  de  chambre 
who  accompanied  her.  And  so  having  vented  some 
of  my  spleen  against  Mr.  Quin's  negligence  and 
want  of  gallantry,  I  shall  let  him  off,  at  least  for  the 
present,  without  exposing  any  more  of  the  many 
mischievous  blunders  with  which  his  amusing  book 


While  I  am  speaking  of  travellers  and  their 
mistakes  with  respect  to  Hungary,  it  might  be  as 
well  to  correct  a  few  others,  but  the  task  is  so 
serious  a  one,  that  I  dare  only  undertake  it  for  one 
or  two  very  recent  and  glaring  instances.  Most 
travellers  proceed  just  as  far  as  Vienna,  wherethey 
hear  all  sorts  of  absurd  tales  of  Hungary ;  or  if  they 
go  further,  they  run  through  the  country  so  hastily, 
that  they  can  take  up  only  the  most  crude  notions 
of  its  men  and  manners. 

,       One*   of  these   writers,  in   many  respects  very 
accurate  and  judicious  in  his  remarks,  fancies  he  saw 
troops  of  Hungarian  peasants  driven  by  their  cruel 
lords  from  their  homes  to  make  room  for  hunting- 
parks  or  sheep-walks  !     The  author  seems  to  have 
gotjnto  Jiis  head  some  confused  idea  made  up  from, 
the   ancient   history  of  the   New  Forest  and   the 
nioclern  history  of  jjjsji_ejectments,  and^  to   have 
applied  it  to  the  landed  gentry  of  Hungary- — why 
/  or  wherefore  it  is  difficult  to  imagine.     The  herds 
|    of  peasants  might  have  been  Bohemians  or  Croats, 
\   probably  on  a  pilgrimage,   but  were  certainly  not 
Ngungarians./   He    does    not   probably   know   that 
the  want  of  peasantry,  not  the  superabundance,  is 
the    complaint   in  Hungary;    that   the   Hungarian 
peasant   possesses  his  land  on  a  title  which  places 
it  out  of  his  landlord's  power  to  dispossess   him, 
and  that  were  any  such  attempt  made,  the  county 
and  the  Government  would  not  allow  it,  because, 


Austria  and  the  Austrians. 


.    in   losing  the   peasant   they  lose   the   taxes;   nay, 

so  strict  is  the  law  in  this  respect,  that  if  a  peasant 

quit  his  land  voluntarily,   his   lord  cannot  occupy 

I    it  himself,  but  must  place  another  peasant  in  it  as 

\  soon  as  one  offers.     Besides,  when  the  Hungarian 

)  peasant  leavesTns  native  village  to  seek  a  better 

settlement,  it  is  always  in  his  own  country  ;   for  he 

/      has  a  fixed  idea  that  there  is  not  enough  to  eat  and 

^  —  drink  anywhere  else  than  in  Hungary.     Instead  of 

forming    hunting-parks,  which   would    be  of  little 

use,  where  every  Hungarian  gentleman  and  every 

officer  has  the  right  to  sport  over  at  least  one  half 

of  his  neighbour's  estates,  most  of  the  land-owners 

are  clearing  their  ground,  improving  their  agricul- 

ture, and  thinking  more  of  increasing  their  revenues 

than  of  extending  their  shooting-grounds. 

Another  traveller*  who  enters  Hungary  but  for 
a  few  hours,  still  finds  something  to  say  against  it. 
|He  invites  himself  to  dine  with  a  country  gentle- 
man he  has  never  seen  in  his  life,  does  not  find 
the  dinner  large  enough  for  the  accession  his  own 
party  has  made  to  the  family,  misunderstands  the 
x'  customs  of  the  country,  and  finishes  by  casting  a  J 
jlur^m_thejip^^  nation  / 

But  this  gentleman  has  strong  political 

feelings  —  not  those  of  the  most  liberal  tendency  — 
and  he    cannot    pardon    a   people  who  talk  about 
liberty  and  independence,  although  it  is  in  opposi- 

tion to  a  country  which  he  himself  calls  "a  large 

•-••  ~~ 
*  Schloss  Hainfeld,  by  Captain  B.  Hall. 


state  prison,"  and  a  system  of  government  which 
he  characterises  as  encouraging  whatever  has  a 
tendency  to  keep  the  human  mind  in  a  state  of 
"  uninvestigating  ignorance." 

A  more  serious  error,  and  one  which  I  am  sure 
the  author  would  not  have  made  intentionally,  may 
be  found  in  Mr.  Gleig's  recent  work  on  Germany, 

Bohemia,  and  Hungary.  Mr.  Gleig  observes,  "  In 
the  rural  districts  every  man  you  meet,  provided  he 
be  neither  a  noble  nor  a  soldier,  belongs  to  some- 
body. He  has  no  rights  of  his  own ;  he  is  a  portion 
of  another  man's  chattels ;  he  is  bought  and  sold 
with  the  laud,  as  if  he  were  a  horse  or  an  ox.' 
Now  I  have  already  said  sufficient  to  show  the 
reader  that  not  one  word  of  this  statement  is  cor- 

rect.    But  I  appeal  to  him  if  it  is  not  painful  to 
see  a  gentleman  of  Mr.  Gleig's  talent,  take  up,  and 
give  currency  to  so  grave  an   erroiywhicli  at  once 
deprives  a^ whole  nation  of  any  sympathy  or  respect 
from   the  whole  of  civilized  Europe.     Then  comes 
the  assertion  that  it  is  only  within  the  last  year  that 
regular  county  magistrates  have  been  appointed.     I 
have  no  idea  whence   such  a   mistake   could  have     Q 
arisen.    The_county  magistracy,  ^^Ms^tjresent^  Q 
organized  in  Hungary,  is  one  jrfjhe  most  ancient     c 
institutions  of  Europe.       VAR  M  EGYE 

The  last  ball  of  the  Carnival  is  a  very  important 
affair  here,  and  for  a  full  week  before  its  occurrence 
great  was  the  diplomacy  employed  to  arrange  it.  It 
is  always  expected  to  be  the  best  of  the  season,  and 

486  THE   LAST   BALL. 

is  quite  sure  to  be  kept  up  till  late  in  the  morning, 
so  that  it  is  apt  to  be  rather  expensive.  Still  no 
one  dreamt  for  a  moment  of  not  having  a  ball ;  the 
only  question  was,  who  was  to  give  it  ?  The  Coun- 
tess B declared  that  she  should  like  to  do  so, 

but  the  Count  protested  she  had  given  so  many, 
that  he  could  not  afford  any  more.  The  Baroness 

W ,  who  has  such  very  nice  rooms,  was  not  well 

enough  to  bear  the  fatigue,  and  Mr.  H ,  who 

was  always  ready  to  oblige,  could  not  this  year,  on 
account  of  the  recent  death  of  a  near  relative. 
Happen,  however,  it  must,  and  the  very  evening 
before  it  was  to  take  place,  it  was  announced  with 
great  joy,  in  the  midst  of  a  ball,  that  the  good- 
natured  Countess  S had  consented  to  take 

the  charge  on  herself,  and  she  at  once  asked  every- 
body to  come,  and  to  tell  those  of  their  friends  who 
were  not  then  present  to  come  also. 

It  was  then  near  midnight,  and,  as  she  told  me 
afterwards,  she  immediately  returned  home,  sum- 
moned her  servants,  informed  them  of  what  was  to 
happen,  and  set  them  all  to  work,  so  that  by  neither 
going  to  bed  herself,  nor  letting  anybody  else,  before 
the  next  evening  she  had  turned  the  house  wrong 
side  upwards,  and  fitted  it  for  the  reception  of  her 
crowd  of  guests. 

In  the  midst  of  the  festivities  of  the  evening,  as 
I  was  quietly  enjoying  the  scene,  I  could  not  help 
smiling  at  the  conversation  of  some  respectable 
dowagers  near  me,  who  lamented  that,  after  all,  the 


last  balls  were  nothing  now  to  what  they  used  to  be 
in  thej£_time_  —  when  they  continued  till  daylight, 
and  when  all  the  ladies  and  gentlemen,  dressed  as 
they  were,  walked  in  procession  from  the  ball-room 
and  began  their  Lent  the  moment 

they  finished  their  Garni  vajj^ 

I  did  not  wait  for  the  end  of  this  ball,  as  I  wished 
to  see  the  masquerade  at  the  Redout.  The  Redouten 
Saal  is  a  large  building  on  the  quay,  where  the 
public  balls  are  commonly  held.  The  room  is 
one  of  the  jargest  j_ever  saw,  and  requires  I  know 
not  how  many  thousand  lights  for  its  illumination. 
Though  rather  heavy,  it  is  a  beautiful  piece  of 
architecture,  and  does  its  designer  great  credit. 
Instead  of  the  hundred  or  two  well-dressed  persons 
I  had  just  left,  I  found  several  thousands  collected 
here,  and  apparently  of  every  rank,  from  the  pretty 
milliner  to  the  stately  Countess.  Although  the 
higher  classes  can  scarcely  be  said  to  share  with 
the  middle  in  their  amusements,  for  they  always 
hold  themselves  a  little  on  the  reserve,  they  are 
yet  wise  enough  to  attend  their  public  festivities, 
and  not  the  proudest  lady  would  venture  on  these 
occasions  to  refuse  the  hand  of  the  humblest 
apprentice  boy  in  the  dance  if  invited  by  him.  This 
condescension  on  the  part  of  the  upper  classes  is 
most  politic,  as  it  tends  strongly  to  remove  from 
the  lower  the  feelings  of  envy  and  hatred,  which 
superior  advantages  are  so  apt  to  create. 

As  a  stranger,  I  had  expected  to  escape  without 


notice,  and  had  not  consequently  masked  :  I  was 
mistaken,  however,  for  during  the  two  or  three 
hours  I  remained,  I  had  scarcely  a  moment's  rest. 
One  mask  or  another  was  constantly  seizing  me  by 
the  arm,  and  squeaking  into  my  ear  a  quantity  of 
secrets  (with  which  to  the  present  time  I  cannot 
conceive  how  they  became  acquainted),  and  then 
leaving  me  just  as  my  astonishment  was  excited  to 

the  highest  pitch.  AUSTRIAN  BfAfr  OF  pfe 

i      One  of  the  best  balls  during  the  Carnival,  was  that 
given  by  the  lawyers  and  law-studenlSa^jo  which  all 
I  the  nobles  and  citizens  were  invited.     It  is  common 
I  in  Vienna  to  speak  of  the  law-students,  or  rather 
(as  those  who  have  finished  their  studies 

are  called)kas_a  most  rude  and  unruly  set.  They 
are  the  same  persons  whom  we  have  seen  at  Pres- 
burg  filling  the  floor  of  the  Chamber  of  Deputies, 
and  certainly  exercising  their  lungs  most  freely 
in  applauding  or  hissing  whomsoever  they  pleased. 
But  it  is  jinfajr^  to  ^onsider^them  rude^on  that 
jjjCcount  ;  if  they  have  a  right  to  be  there,  they  do 
not  exercise  their  privilege  one  bit  more  rudely 
than  the  gentlemen  of  the  House  of  Commons  with 
[us  ;  and  if  they  have  not  a  right,  why  are  they  not 
kept  silent  ?  That  their  presence  is  not  only  a  great 
inconvenience  but  a  direct  interference  with  the 
liberty  of  debate,  I  am  quite  ready  to  allow,  and 
I  cannot  understand  why  the  Chamber  does  not 
pass  a  formal  law  to  protect  itself  from  such 
interference.  While  it  is  permitted,  however,  no 


one  ought  to  complain  that  it  is  exercised.  A 
great  number  of  students  were  present,  but  instead 
of  the  rude  conduct  JJaad  heard  attributed  to  them, 
I  ^bserved  nothing  but  the  greatest  order  and  pro- 

priety. Nor,  as  I  am  speaking  of  balls,  should  I 
forget  the  very  pleasant  ones  given  by  the  Casino 
every  year.  In  fact,  there  never  was  a  place  better 
provided  with  balls  than  this  same  Pest,  and  if  a 
man  has  any  fancy  that  way,  he  may  dance  every 
night  from  the  beginning  of  the  Carnival  to  the 

Der  stoss !  —  Der  stoss  !  —  Such  was  the  cry, 
following  the  report  of  a  cannon,  which  we  heard 
one  morning  through  the  hotel  and  in  the  streets. 
Hastening  out  to  see  what  was  the  matter,  we  found 
the  ice  on  the  Danube  had  begun  to  move,  and 
everybody  had  flocked  down  to  the  river  to  specu- 
late as  to  whether  it  would  go  off  quietly,  or  whether 
there  was  any  prospect  of  injury  from  it  to  the 
houses  on  the  banks.  This  breaking  up  of  the  ice  is 
a  serious  matter  here.  For  months  it  has  formed  a 
road  across  the  river,  which  becomes  now  no  longer 
secure,  and  its  great  thickness  and  the  quantity 
formed,  render  its  removal  a  very  long  process, 
When  pressed  by  a  flood  of  water  from  above,  the 
masses  of  ice  often  rise  one  upon  the  other,  some- 
times to  the  height  of  a  house,  and  by  the  obstruc- 
tion which  they  cause  produce  a  flood.  It  is  from 
this  circumstance  one  of  the  greatest  dangers  is 
apprehended  to  the  chain-bridge.  What  arches,  it 

490  THE  THAW. 

is  asked,  can  withstand  the  force  of  such  masses  of 
ice  with  the  weight  of  the  whole  Danube  pressing 
upon  them?  Ice-breakers,  however,  set  at  some 
distance  before  the  bridge,  on  which  the  vast  masses 
might  break  themselves,  it  is  considered  would 
prove  effectual  preventives  against  such  a  danger. 
The  use  of  cannon  to  break  the  ice  too,  has  been 
suggested,  but  I  should  think  the  newly  discovered 
plan  of  blasting  under  water  by  the  aid  of  galvanism 
would  be  more  likely  to  effect  the  object. 

A  few  days  later  I   had  a  proof  how  great   an 

inconvenience   this  stoss  is.     General  L ,  the 

commander  of  the  garrison  of  Buda,  had  issued  invi- 
tations to  all  the  beau  monde  of  Buda,  and  Pest  also, 
for  a  ball.  Of  course  this  could  not  be  put  off,  but 
the  difficulty  was,  how  were  the  Pest  people  to 
get  there.  The  ice  was  still  on  the  move,  that  is, 
it  made  a  progress  of  some  yards  every  day ;  it  was 
already  clear  from  the  sides  to  the  distance  of 
twenty  yards  on  each  bank,  and  great  spaces  of 
many  yards  in  extent  were  open.  Most  of  the 
ladies  gave  up  the  ball  rather  than  face  the  danger, 

but  Madame  W ,  declared,  if  any  one  would 

join  her,  she  would  go,  were  it  only  for  the  credit 
of  the  ladies  of  Pest.  A  party  was  soon  made  up, 
and  of  course  the  gentlemen  had  no  excuse.  How 
the  ladies  managed  I  cannot  say,  but  for  myself  I 
was  taken  out  of  the  carriage  and  carried  through 
a  heap  of  wet  mud  to  a  small  boat  which  they 
pushed  across  to  the  ice.  There  a  hand-sledge  was 

THE  THAW.  491 

in  waiting,  into  which  I  got,  and  amidst  a  good 
number  of  crackings  and  roarings  of  the  ice,  I 
passed  over  in  safety  to  where  another  boat  con- 
veyed me  to  a  second  carriage  on  the  Buda  side. 
If  I  remember  rightly,  the  ice  took  three  weeks 
before  it  was  all  gone  after  the  first  stoss.  During 
the  whole,  of  that  time,  day  and  night,  a  watch 
was  set  who  gave  the  alarm  whenever  it  was  in 
motion,  and  a  gun  was  fired  to  warn  the  people 
to  get  off. 




Departure  from  Pest. — Notary  of  Teteny. — Volcanic  District. — 
Bakonyer  Forest. —  Subri. — Hungarian  Robbers. — Conscription 
—  Wine  of  Somlyo. —  Keszthely. —  Signs  of  Civilization. — 
Costume  of  Nagy  K£nisa. — The  Drave. — Death  of  Zriny. — 
Croatia  and  Sclavonia. —  State  of  the  Peasantry. — Agram. — 
Croatian  Language. — Public  Feeling  in  Croatia. —  Smuggling. 
— Karlstadt. — Save  and  Kulpa. —  The  Ludovica  Road — its 
Importance. —  Fiume. —  English  Paper  Mill. —  Commerce. — 
Productions  of  Hungary.— Demand  for  English  Goods  in  Hun- 
gary.— Causes  which  impede  Commerce,  and  the  means  of  their 

SOON  after  the  frost  bad  disappeared,  and  before 
the  ice  had  fairly  cleared  away  from  the  Danube, 
we  heard  that  a  new  steam-boat  was  about  to  leave 
Trieste  for  Constantinople,  touching  at  Corfu.  Zante, 
and  Athens  in  her  way.  As  we  had  already  seen 
so  much  of  the  Danube,  and  intended  to  return 
by  it  again  through  Wallachia  to  complete  our 
tour  in  Transylvania,  we  determined  to  avail  our- 
selves of  this  opportunity  to  visit  Turkey.  An- 
other inducement  too,  was  the  route  we  might  take 
through  Croatia  and  by  Fiume  to  Trieste,  which 
would  show  us  another  very  important  part  of  Hun- 
gary with  which  we  were  as  yet  unacquainted. 


Instead  of  starting  early  in  the  morning  of  the 
28th  of  February,  as  we  had  intended,  we  were 
delayed  for  some  time  by  the  ice.  It  had  now 
become  too  rotten  to  be  used  as  a  bridge,  and  a 
ferry  had  been  established  wherever  an  open  space 
was  left ;  but  the  ice  was  so  constantly  moving, 
that  the  ferry  had  frequently  to  be  changed,  and 
one  of  these  changes  detained  us  several  hours. 
At  last  the  ferry  was  declared  open,  the  carriage 
embarked,  and  we  had  nothing  to  do  but  shake 
hands  with  our  friends,  and  express  a  hearty  wish 
that  we  might  soon  meet  them  again, — and  so  we 
started  on  our  way. 

Our  first  drive  did  not  afford  us  a  very  favour- 
able prospect  for  the  rest  of  the  journey.  It  was  a 
cold  wet  night,  and  the  roads  were  so  deep  in  mud, 
that  it  was  as  much  as  six  good  horses  could  do  to 
drag  us  through  it.  Before  we  had  got  half  over 
one  station  too,  the  iron-work  supporting  the  dickey 
gave  way,  and  we  were  obliged  to  fasten  it  up 
with  ropes.  Under  these  circumstances,  we  deter- 
mined to  stop  at  the  first  village,  Tet£ny,  for  the 
night,  and  as  there  was  not  a  bedroom  to  be  had 
in  the  inn,  we  gladly  availed  ourselves  of  the  offer 
of  the  notary  to  sleep  in  his  house. 

~  r     —  f ^^ 

The  notary  was  a  very  civil  and  obliging  person, 
and  from  a  couple  of  violins  and  a  pianoforte  which 
we  found  in  the  room,  and  from  some  music  of  Ros- 
sini's, which  was  lying  about,  I  should  judge  a  man 
of  taste  also.  Hejwas  master  o£  the,  parish-sch  ool , 


and  told  us  that  all  the  children  attended  it  very 
regularly.  The  peasants  are  Germans.  He  declined 
receiving_ajiythmg  next  morning  for  the  hospitality 
he  had  offered  us,  but  the  "  gude  wife  "  was  "  mair 
canny,"  and  allowed  herself  to  be  prevailed  on. 
/  As  we  pursued  this  same  route  before,  at  least  as 
far  as  Veszprim,  when  we  visited  Fiired,  I  need  say 
nothing  more  in  regard  to  it  here,  than  that  the  car- 
riage broke  down  three  or  four  times  on  the  way,  and 
caused  as  many  disagreeable  pauses  before  we  could 
get  it  mended.  Whether  it  was  the  severe  frost 
which  had  affected  the  iron- work,  or  whether  it 
was  that  the  Vienna  iron  was  itself  bad,  I  cannot 
tell,  but  it  is  certain  that  the  unusual  straining 
caused  by  the  state  of  the  roads  was  too  much  for 
it,  and  great  was  our  annoyance  in  consequence. 

Instead  of  turning  off  to  Fiired,  we  now  con- 
tinued along  the  high  road  which  runs  parallel  with 
the  Balaton,  but  at  some  distance  from  it,  to  Ta- 
polcza.  For  the  greater  part  of  the  last  stage  we 
had  been  struck  with  a  new  appearance  in  the 
mountains,  which  seemed  to  rise  alone,  and  in  iso- 
lated masses  from  the  plain.  This,  of  course,  led 
us  to  suppose  them  of  volcanic  origin,  though  they 
were  too  far  off  to  enable  us  to  make  sure  of  the  fact. 
Before  long,  however,  we  found  the  road  itself  had 
changed  colour,  and  on  looking  more  minutely,  it 
turned  out  to  be  composed  of  volcanic  tufa,  instead 
of  the  new  limestone  we  had  seen  before,  and  a 
little  further  on,  we  came  to  basalt  itself,  and  thus 


the  difficulty  as  to  the  appearance  in  these  moun- 
tains was  at  once  solved.  As  we  proceeded,  we 
noticed  that  some  of  the  hills  presented  the  ap- 
pearance of  truncated  cones,  while  others  were 
quite  conical,  and  on  turning  to  our  books  after- 
wards, we  found  that  we  had  fallen  in  with  a  well- 
known  volcanic  district,  in  which  some  of  the 
mountains  are  said  to  have  distinct  craters. 

We  had  now  entered  the  Bakonyer  forest,  a  hilly 
tract  of  country,  extending  nearly  from  the  Danube 
to  Croatia,  and  covered  with  thick  woods,  afford- 
ing shelter  to  the  bands  of  robbers  by  whom  it 
is  generally  infested.  I  am  not  very  credulous  on 
the  subject  of  robbers,  but  I  do  believe  that  this 
neighbourhood  is  rarely  quite  free  from  them,  and 
I  must  confess  I  did  not  very  much  like  the  look 
of  some  half-score  fellows  who  followed  the  carriage 
as  we  entered^  Tapolcza,  inquiring  very  eagerly  if 
we  would  not  go  on  further  that  evening.  On 
talking  with  the  waiter  at  the  inn,  as  to  how  far 
our  suspicions  might  be  well  founded,  he  said  he 
thought  them  groundless,  though,  on  being  pressed 
further,  he  allowed  that  only  a  day  or  two  before, 
fourteen  ofjjubrT-Sjnen  had  been  seen  in  the  village 
dressed  as  women,  and  he  said  that  patrols  were  out 
through  the  whole  country,  for  the  purpose  of  arrest- 
ing them.  Though  we  had  been  staying  so  long  in 
Hungary,  we  had  scarcely  ever  heard  the  name  of 
^nhrLheforeqJjit^^wh ng^  ter" tnr  j pg  we  now  appeared 
to  have  intruded.  Since  that  time,  however,  Subri 

496  SUBRI. 

has  obtained  an  European  reputation,  and  his 
death  has  rendered  him  a  worthy  subject  of  popu- 
lar song.  After  having  been  watched  for  a  long 
time  by  a  body  of  troops  quartered  all  through  the 
country,  he  was  at  last  betrayed  while  drinking 
with  his  men  at  a  public-house.  Before  they  were 
aware  of  it,  a  detachment  of  cavalry  had  surrounded 
them  ;  but  they  nevertheless  made  the  attempt  to 
escape  to  the  woods  by  fighting  their  way  despe- 
rately through  the  soldiers.  Several,  both  of  the 
robbers  and  soldiers  fell,  and  the  officer  of  the 
detachment  had  a  very  near  escape.  On  approach- 
ing Subri,  with  the  intent  to  seize  and  take  him 
alive,  the  robber  drew  a  pistol  from  his  belt,  and 
placed  it  close  to  the  officer's  head.  Subri,  however, 
had  vowed  that  he  would  never  be  taken  alive,  and 
seeing  that  escape  had  become  impossible,  he  de- 
liberately turned  the  pistol  against  himself  and 
blew  out  his  own  brains. 

Many  are  the  tales  which  have  been  told  of  this 
Subri,  but  they  are  too  doubtful  to  be  worth  re- 
peating. Like  most  others  of  the  great  robbers  of 
Hungary — the  Angyal  Bandi,  Zb'ld  Marczi,  and 
Becskereki  —  Subri  had  many  of  those  notions  of 
wild  justice,  which  render  our  own  Robin  HOJ£& 
so  dear  to  the  recollections  of  the  people.  To  rob 
from  the  rich  and  give  to  the  poor ;  to  punish  the 
strong,  and  protect  the  weak ;  to  ill-treat  proud 
men,  and  behave  with  gallantry  to  pretty  women ; — 
such  are  the  characteristics  of  the  great  robbers  of 


Hungary,  and  such  the  traits  that  have  filled  the  | 
songs  of  the  peasantry  with  their  names  and  deeds.  I 
There  is  another  cause,  too,  which  has  tended  to  ' 
increase  the  popular  sympathy  with  robbers  in 
Hungary.  They  are,  for  the  most  part,  young  men 
who  have  been  taken  for  soldiers,  and  who,  having 
run  away,  have  no  other  means  of  existence  left. 
Even  the  sympathies  of  the  nobles  themselves  are 
often  engaged  in  their  favour,  and  there  are  few,  who, 
either  from  weakness  or  mistaken  kindness,  refuse 
to  send  provisions  or  money  to  an  appointed  place, 
when  the  Hungarian  Captain  Rock  demands  them. 
The  mode  of  raising  the  conscripts  is  so  brutal, 
that  it  is  impossible  not  to  pity  those  who  are 
exposed  to  it.  When  the  county  has  issued  its 
orders  to  the  under-officers  to  raise  the  required 
number  of  men,  they  proceed  to  the  villages,  and 
commence  a  levy  by  main  force.  Their  common 
plan  is  said  to  be  to  take,  at  first,  only  the  sons  of 
the  richest  peasants,  because  they  are  certain  of 
obtaining  a  handsome  sum  for  their  release.  As 
soon  as  this  is  accomplished,  they  set  about  catch- 
ing all  the  loose  fellows  in  the  parish,  who,  know- 
ing what  they  have  to  expect,  and  pretty  certain 
that  nobody  will  release  them,  have  already  taken 
to  the  woods  and  mountains,  and  cannot  be  got 
at  without  a  regular  hunt.  When  once  caught,  . 

these  poor  fellows  are  ghaineoMn_long  lines,  and  vj  If 
thus  literally  driven  more  cruelly  than  the  same  ^ 
men  would  treat  their  own  beasts,  to  the  head-  p 

VOL.  II.  K   K 

498  WINE   OF   SOMLYO. 

quarters  of  the  army.  It  is  not  to  be  won- 
dered at,  that  a  service  so  recruited  should  be 
detested,  or  that  the  men  should  try  to  escape ; 
nor  is  it  matter  of  surprise  that  a  human  heart, 
whether  noble  or  simple,  should  sympathise  with 
the  poor  fellows,  whom  such  brutality  as  this  has 
driven  to  a  life  of  crime.  This  system  of  recruiting 
is  a  deep  disgrace  to  Hungary,  and  it  is  the  duty 
of  every  friend  of  his  country  to  use  his  utmost 
endeavours  to  reform  it. 

But  to  return  to  Tapolcza.  The  waiter's  con- 
versation, alarming  as  was  the  subject,  did  not  pre- 
vent us  duly  appreciating  the  excellence  of  the 
wine  he  had  set  before  us; — possibly  it  made  us/ 
apply  to  it  the  more  steadily.  It  was  SchonriatieTV 
and  one  of  the  very  best  white  wines  I  ever  drank. 
It  is  grown,  about  a  short  day's  journey  from  this 
place,  on  the  hill  of  Somlyo,  near  Vasarhely,  and  a 
little  to  the  west  of  it.  If  I  am  not  mistaken,  this 
hill  must  belong  to  the  volcanic  range  we  saw  in 
this  neighbourhood ;  for  I  doubt  if  any  other  soil 
could  give  its  wine  that  high  flavour  which  it  boasts. 
The  Schomlauer,  is  a  white  wine,  full-bodied  and 
strong.  It  would,  1  think,  suit  the  English  market 
well,  and  it  would  probably  bear  the  carriage  with- 
out injury. 

Our  route  led  us  over  a  boggy  plain,  interspersed 
with  volcanic  mountains,  rising  abruptly  from  it, 
till  we  came  to  the  shores  of  the  Balaton,  and  so 
continued  as  far  as  Keszthely.  The  scenery  at  the 


lower  end  of  the  Balaton  is  mountainous,  and  must 
present  many  points  of  great  beauty,  which  in  a 
more  favourable  season  we  should  have  been  de- 
lighted to  ransack. 

is  a  thriving  little  town,  and  of  con- 

siderable importance,  from  the  great  school  of  agri- 
culture founded  here  by  Count  George  Festetits, 
and  known  as  the  Georgikon.  Though  no  longer 
in  so  flourishing  a  state  as  formerly,  ^he  Georgikon 
iajL_gtill  several  professors  and  practical  teachers 
maintained  at  the  expense  of  Count  Festetits. 
Thejre^are  few  countries  in  which  more  philan- 
thropic endeavours  to  better  the  condition  of  the 
people  have  been  made  than  injjun^aryj  but,  un- 
fortunately, these  endeavours  have  wanted  a  charac- 
ter of  permanency,  and  they  have,  in  consequence, 
almost  always  declined  on  the  death  of  their  first 

From  Keszthely,  we  started  about  mid-day  with 
six  horses,  hoping  to  get  on  two  or  three  stages 
before  night.  But  we  were  mistaken;  we  were 
again  in  the  Bakonyer  forest,  and  the  road,  if  road 
it  can  be  called,  had  become  so  bad,  that  at  last 
the  horses  stuck  quite  fast,  and  we  were  obliged 
to  wait  patiently  till  Miklos  returned,  who  had  gone 
off,  on  one  of  the  leaders,  for  fresh  horses.  We 
did  not  complete  the  fourteen  miles  to  Kis  Ko- 
marom,  in  less  than  seven  hours  and  a  half.  We 
passed,  in  the  course  of  the  day,  several  waggons 
guarded  by  soldiers,  which  our  drivers  told  us 

K  K  2 


were  conveying  money  to  Pest.  Patrols,  too,  we 
observed  several  times  in  different  parts  of  the 

The  next  day's  journey  was  still  worse;  with 
eight  horses  and  four  drivers  we  had  hard  work 
to  get  to  Nagy  Kanisa.  The  whole  country  in  this 
neighbourhood  is  exceedingly  wild  and  unculti- 
vated. It  is  principally  composed  jof  forest  and 
boggy  grass-land,  which  is  naturally  rich,  and  only 
requires  a  little  cultivation  to  produce_abundance. 
For  wood  scenery, — such  as  one  loves  to  fancy 
when  hearing  of  Robin  Hood, — I  have  never  seen 
anything  finer.  In  many  parts  of  this  forest,  I  do 
not  suppose  an  axe  was  ever  used ;  and  even  close 
by  the  road  side,  thousands  of  fine  trees  are  rotting 
from  age.  They  are  most]y_joaks,  mixed  with  a 
few  birches.  The  mistletoe  was  in  wonderful  luxu- 
riance; the  dying  tops  of  the  oaks  seemed  quite 
borne  down  by  it.  Where  the  surface  is  clear  of 
trees  for  a  few  yards,  a  fine  turf  springs  up  na- 
turally, though  the  pigs,  with  which  these  forests 
are  filled  in  winter  for  the  sake  of  the  acorns,  root 
it  up  most  unmercifully.  It  is  wonderful  to  what 
a  depth  these  fellows  will  go  in  search  of  roots, 
which  they  can  smell  from  the  surface.  Their 
power  of  scent  must  be  very  much  finer  than  that 
of  the  dog.  We  passed  several  villages  belonging 
to  the  bishop  of  Veszprim.  The  state  of  the  pea- 
santry—  in  great  part  Sclaves — is  deplorable,  in 
spite  of  the  richness  of  the  land.  I  do  not  think 


we   have   seen    anywhere   worse    cultivation,    and 
greater  misery,  than  in  this  district. 

During  this  journey,  it  so  rarely  happened  that 
we  could  calculate  on  arriving  at  a  village  at 
any  fixed  time,  that  we  always  took  care  to  start 
with  a  good  loaf  of  bread  and  a  bottle  of  wine, 
besides  some  raw  bacon  and  salami,  which,  al- 
though not  the  most  elegant  viands,  were  exceed- 
ingly palatable  to  hungry  travellers.  When,  after 
dining  three  successive  days  on  this  diet,  we  ar- 
rived at  Nagy  Kanisa  about  mid-day,  and,  instead 
of  a  miserable  village,  found  it  a  bustlinglittle 
Jown,^nd_when^we_  heard  that  a  dinner  was  to 
be  got,  it  was  no  wonder  that  we  regarded  it  as 

a  god-send.     S ,  after  luxuriating  on  the  five 

good  courses — soup,  boiled  beef,  salt  pork,  and 
saur  Kraut,  some  pastry,  and  a  loin  of  veal  and 
salad  —  exclaimed,  "  Well !  if  any  one  ventures 
to  tell  me,  after  this,  that  Hungary  is  not  a  very 
civilized  country,  I  shall  beg  to  differ  from  him.  I 
should  be  glad  to  know  where  else  such  a  dinner 
as  this,  and  a  good  bottle  of  wine  to  it,  could  be 
J^i^orjwenty-p^nce,-— -I  am  sure^notjn^nglandj 
I  do  not  think  I  have  anywhere  entered  my  pro- 
test against  the  veal,  which  is  always  the  first 
dish  the  landlord — especially  if  he  be  a  German 
—offers  you  in  Hungary.  It  is  a  most  villanous 
affair,  red,  tough,  and  tasteless,  and  not  to  be  com- 
pared to  an  honest  Magyar  gulyds  Ms,  o 


The  women  of  Nagy  Kanisa  are  remarkable 
for  the  peculiar  character  of  their  head-dress. 
It  is  formed  of  white  linen,  disposed  in  flat  folds, 

so  much  resembling  that  worn  in  the  neighbourhood 
of  Rome,  that  one  can  scarcely  help  fancying  that 
the  one  people  must  have  derived  it  from  the  other. 
I  leave  it  to  the  speculative  antiquary  to  determine 
whether  a  Roman  colony  taught  the  fashion  to  the 
Nagy  Kanisians,  or  whether  some  of  their  barbarous 
ancestors  carried  it  with  them  into  the  villages  of 
the  Campagna. 

As  we  were  about  to  leave  this  place,  an  English 
gentleman,  who  had  accidentally  heard  of  our  arri- 
val, came  and  introduced  himself  to  us.  He  had 
been  living  with  his  wife,  an  Italian  lady,  in  this 
neighbourhood,  for  two  or  three  years,  and  he  gave 
a  tolerably  favourable  account  of  it.  His  neigh- 
bours, he  says,  are  polite  and  friendly,  living  is  very 
cheap,  and  the  shooting  particularly  good. 

THE   ISLAND.  503 

It  took  us  seven  days  of  tedious  travelling,  before 
we  arrived  at  the  river  Drave,  which  forms  the  boun- 
dary of  the  ancient  kingdom  of  Croatia.  Between 
the  Muhr  and  Drave  we  passed  through  some  exceed- 
ingly flourishing  villages,  which  offered  a  very  strik- 
ing contrast  to  many  we  had  previously  seen.  This 
district,  called  the  "  Island,"  from  its  position  be- 
tween the  two  rivers,  although  by  no  means  one  of 
the  most  rich,  is  yet  one  of  the  most  fruitful  and 
prosperous  in  Hungary.  The  wine,  the  tobacco,  the 
corn,  the  flax,  every  product  grown  here  is  better 
than  what  is  produced  in  the  districts  on  either 
side  of  it.  All  this  prosperity  seems  to  depend  en- 
tirely on  the  greater  industry  of  the  people.  How 
this  has  been  produced  it  is  difficult  to  say,  but  I 
suspect  it  is  owing  to  the  good  management  of  the 
Count  or  Counts — for  I  could  not  make  out  whe- 
ther it  was  one  or  many — Festetits,  to  whom  the 
greater  part  of  it  belongs.  In  one  of  these  villages 
we  observed  a  farm-yard  and  farm  buildings  which 
would  not  have  been  a  discredit  to  Norfolk. 

It  is  in  this  neighbourhood  that  the  Zriny  family 
— those  Zrinys  who  figure  in  so  many  pages  of  Hun- 
garian history — took  their  origin,  and  possessed  large 
estates.  The  glorious  death  of  Zriny  Miklos  has 
earned  for  him  the  name  of  the  Hungarian  Leoni- 
das.  Zriny  was  intrusted  with  the  command  of  the 
castle  of  Sziget,  near  Fiinfkirchen,  and  having  cut 
off  some  of  the  Turkish  troops,  Solyman  the  Mag- 
nificent determined  to  inarch  against  him  with  all 

504  DEATH    OF   ZRINY. 

his  forces.  Although  Zriny  had  but  a  small  garri- 
son, and  was  left  quite  unsupported  from  without, 
he  sustained  the  siege  with  the  most  extraordinary 
valour.  The  enemy  was  driven  back  in  no  less  than 
twenty  attempts  to  storm  the  castle,  sixty  thousand 
of  the  Turkish  forces  had  perished,  and  Solyman 
himself  had  sickened  and  died — still  Zriny  held 
out ;  but  now  only  three  hundred  of  his  men  were 
living,  and  hunger  was  fast  destroying  even  them. 
Determined  not  to  yield,  Zriny  and  his  brave  band 
rushed  out  on  the  Turks,  and  were  all  killed  fight- 
ing to  the  last.  This  heroic  resistance  so  far  weak- 
ened the  Turkish  army,  that  they  were  obliged  to 
retire  without  attempting  any  further  invasion. 

Near  Csakatornya,  at  Nedelicz,  is  a  custom-house 
for  goods  passing  from  Austria  into  Hungary.  A 
great  part  of  the  transport  trade — especially  that 
carried  on  in  the  lighter  waggons,  between  Trieste 
and  Hungary — is  said  to  pass  through  this  place. 
The  chief  articles  are  colonial  produce,  particularly 
sugar  and  coffee.  Laden  waggons  generally  occupy 
seven  days  from  Trieste  to  Nedelicz,  and  from 
thence  to  Pest  or  Vienna  about  eight  more. 

The  Drave  is  a  fine  wide  river,  but  apparently 
not  very  deep;  with  a  little  artificial  aid,  however, 
I  should  think  it  might  be  rendered  navigable  con- 
siderably higher  up  than  the  point  at  which  we 
crossed.  Directly  on  the  other  side,  lies  the  town 
of  Varasdin  ;  but  as  we  did  not  remain  longer  than 
was  required  to  change  horses,  I  must  content 


myself  with  saying  that  it  is  a  pretty  town,  of  eight 
thousand  inhabitants,  with  clean  well-paved  streets, 
and  a  great  number  of  handsome  buildings. 

While  we  are  hastening  on  to  Agram,  the  capital 
of  Croatia,  I  may  as  well  say  a  word  or  two  about 
the  country  itself. 

Croatia  and  Sclavonia  —  for  they  are  always 
reckoned  together  —  form  the  south-western  por- 
tion of  Hungary,  to  which  country  they  have  been 
united  ever  since  the  eleventh  century.  Their 
population,  which  may  be  estimated  at  something 
less  than  a  million,  without  the  borderers,  is  entirely 
of  Sclavish  origin,  and  of  the  Roman  Catholic  and 
Greek  religions.  Croatia  and  Sclavonia  have  the 
same  laws  and  constitution  as  the  rest  of  Hungary, 
except  in  one  or  two  particulars,  in  which  they 
enjoy  special  privileges.  The  counties  send  de- 
puties to  the  Diet  just  as  other  parts  of  Hungary 
and  the  county  meetings  are  held  in  the  same 
way ;  but  in  addition  to  this,  they  sometimes  hold 
what  they  call  Diets  of  the  Kingdoms  of  Croatia 
and  Sclavonia  —  Comitia  Regnorum  Croatia  et 
Sclavonics.  What  the  exact  use  of  these  Diets  is, 
or  how  far  their  functions  extend,  I  was  not  able  to 
make  out, — indeed,  I  believe  it  is  a  disputed  point, 
the  Croatians  wishing  to  consider  themselves  as 
confederates  of  Hungary,  the  Hungarians  reckon- 
ing them  as  part  and  parcel  of  themselves.  They 
sometimes,  however,  exercise  the  right  of  refusing 
to  obey,  or  to  adopt  the  acts  of  the  General 


Diet,  when  they  interfere  with  their  own  peculiar 

A  case  has  lately  arisen  with  respect  to  one  of 
these  privileges,  which  has  given  it  a  very  unenvi- 
able notoriety.  It  is  the  privilege  of  excluding  all 
Protestants  from  the  possession  of  property,  and 
I  believe,  of  refusing  them  even  the  right  of 
living  within  the  boundaries  of  the  two  countries. 
This  question  has  been  mooted  before  the  General 
Diet,  and  a  more  tolerant  law  passed;  but  as  yet 
no  change  has  been  effected,  for  the  Croatians  have 
refused  to  sanction  or  adopt  it.  The  only  other 
distinction  of  any  importance  is  the  existence  of 
the  Banat  Table,  a  court  of  justice,  answering  to 
the  district  courts  of  Hungary,  to  which  causes  are 
referred  from  the  county  courts. 

The  soil  of  Croatia,  though  less  rich  than  that  of 
many  parts  of  Hungary,  is  by  no  means  a  poor  one, 
but  it  is  badly  cultivated,  and  is  in  consequence 
unproductive.  The  peasants  whom  we  met  on  the 
road  were  generally  small  in  size,  and  poor  in  ap- 
pearance. Their  dress  is  somewhat  similar  to  that 
of  the  other  peasants  of  Hungary,  but  it  is  more 
coarse  in  material  and  rude  in  fashion.  The  men 
wear  brown  cloth  jackets,  trimmed  with  red,  a 
round  sheepskin  cap  on  their  heads,  and  trowsers 
made  of  thick  white  cloth.  The  women  have  their 
heads  wrapped  in  a  piece  of  white  linen,  arranged 
without  taste  and  hanging  down  over  the  shoulders. 
Their  only  ornament  is  a  bow  of  red  ribbon  fastened 


on   the  breast.     In  winter,  over  the  linen   gown, 
they  wear  a  shapeless  white  great  coat. 

At  a  small  village  where  we  stopped  to  dine,  we 
fell  into  conversation  with  the  landlord, —  a  bluff, 
jolly-looking  fellow,  —  who  turned  out  to  be  a 
Croatian  Radical,  and  by  no  means  too  content 
with  the  manner  in  which  things  are  managed.  He 
said  that  the  peasants  are  much  more  poor  and 
miserable  than  in  Hungary,  and  that  this  is  more 
especially  the  case  in  the  mountainous  districts. 
Nor  did  he  attribute  it  so  much  to  the  poverty  of 
the  soil,  or  the  smaller  size  of  the  peasants'  fiefs, 
as  to  the  oppression  of  their  seigneurs.  It  is  a 
very  common  thing,  according  to  his  account,  for  a 
landlord  to  seize  his  peasants'  land  on  some  frivo- 
lous pretext,  and  keep  it  from  them  altogether,  or 
oblige  them  to  pay  a  heavy  sum  to  be  allowed  to 
retain  it.  Sometimes  a  vineyard  which  has  been 
entirely  formed  by  the  labour  of  the  peasant,  and 
which  is  often  worth  two  or  three  hundred  pounds, 
is  taken  away,  and  a  barren  plot  of  ground,  of  the 
same  size,  offered  as  an  equivalent.  The  courts 
of  law,  he  said,  afforded  them  no  protection  what- 
soever. What  rendered  this  man's  testimony  of 
greater  value  was  the  fact,  that  he  himself  was 
noble.  Notwithstanding  all  this  poverty  and 
wretchedness  it  should  be  remarked,  that  we  saw 
here  more  large  churches,  and  more  images  of 
saints,  than  in  all  the  rest  of  Hungary  together.  I 
do  not  assert  that  this  was  cause  and  effect,  but  if 

508  AGRAM. 

not,  it  was  a  curious  coincidence,  and  it  is  one 
which  I  have  observed  more  than  once  in  the 
course  of  my  travels. 

The  road  leading  into  Agram  is  so  bad  that  we 
nearly  stuck  fast  in  the  suburbs ;  and  this  was  the 
more  remarkable,  because,  till  within  a  few  miles  of 
the  town,  the  roads  had  been  far  better  than  in  most 
other  parts  of  Hungary.  Agram  itself  is  a  town  of 
ten  thousand  inhabitants,  and  wears  an  aspect  of 
bustle  and  activity,  which  speaks  well  for  its  pro- 
sperity. In  strolling  about,  the  Catholic  Bishop's 
palace  was  the  first  object  which  attracted  our  at- 
tention. It  was  formerly  a  fortified  castle,  of  such 
an  extent  as  to  include  the  cathedral  within  its  walls. 
The  fosse,  however,  is  now  converted  into  gardens, 
with  lakes,  and  winding  walks,  and  temples  which, 
if  a  little  fantastic,  are  still  pretty,  and  are  very 
liberally  thrown  open  to  the  public.  The  Bishop 
is  said  to  have  about  twenty-five  thousand  pounds 
per  annum,  the  greater  part  of  which  he  derives 
from  his  estates  in  the  Banat.  Although  but  in- 
differently regarded  as  an  absentee  landlord,  he 
is  very  popular  as  a  resident  bishop,  and  is  said 
to  do  a  great  deal  for  the  good  of  the  town.  He 
has  a  regiment  of  grenadiers  of  his  own,  which 
is  composed  entirely  of  his  tenants  from  the^  Banat, 
each  of  whom  is  obliged  to  serve  two  years.  It  is 
no  wonder  that  such  soldiers  have  not  a  very  mar- 
tial bearing,  and  I  certainly  never  saw  anything 
more  ludicrous  than  the  Bishop's  clodhopper  sen- 

AGRAM.  509 

tinels  in  their  scarlet  pantaloons,  brown  coats,  and 
high  grenadier  caps.  The  cathedral  is  a  fine  old 
Gothic  structure,  but  the  interior  is  spoiled  by 
a  profusion  of  rich  marble  altars,  in  the  Italian 
style.  The  pulpit  is  quite  covered  with  alto- 
rilievos  in  white  marble. 

From  the  palace  we  climbed  the  hill,  on  which 
stand  the  middle  and  upper  towns — for  Agram  con- 
sists of  three  towns,  in  the  lower  of  which  our  hotel 
is  situated.  The  Stadt,  or  higher  town,  was  formerly 
the  fortress,  and  contains  the  palace  of  the  Ban  of 
Croatia,  and  many  fine  houses  of  the  nobles.  We 
found  some  good  shops,  chiefly  kept  by  Raitzen 
(Servians)  and  Jews,  who  are  among  the  richest  of 
the  inhabitants,  and  have  the  trade  almost  entirely 
in  their  own  hands.  Of  Germans  there  are  but 
few  here.  The  drapers'  shops  were  particularly 
well  supplied  with  German,  Italian,  and  a  few  Eng- 
lish goods. 

One  of  the  booksellers'  shops  which  we  entered 
was  large,  and  bespoke  a  thriving  trade.  It  con- 
tained almost  all  the  standard  German  works,  and 
German  translations  of  Bulwer,  Marryat,  and  some 
others  of  our  popular  novelists-  There  were  a  few 
works  in  French,  and  one  or  two  English  works 
with  engravings.  The  bookseller,  who  was  an 
intelligent  man,  told  us  that  all  the  higher  classes 
speak  French  and  German,  but  very  few  English. 
One  small  shelf  contained  all  the  Hungarian  books, 
among  which  were,  the  works  of  Count  Cz6chenyi. 


Of  books  in  the  Croatian  language,  there  are  only 
three  or  four  existing.  The  Croatian  language  is  a 
dialect  of  the  Sclavish,  more  resembling,  however, 
that  of  Poland  than  those  of  Bohemia,  Russia,  or 
even  the  Sclavack  dialect  of  the  north  of  Hungary. 
Till  within  the  last  few  years,  it  has  been  totally 
uncultivated,  and  its  use  confined  exclusively  to 
the  peasantry.  Since,  however,  the  Hungarian 
Diet  has  proposed  to  enforce  the  use  of  the 
Magyar  language  instead  of  the  Latin,  in  public 
transactions  throughout  all  Hungary,  a  spirit  of 
opposition  has  been  excited  among  the  Sclavish 
population,  which  threatens  very  serious  conse- 
quences. The  first  effect  of  the  measure  proposed 
by  the  Diet  was,  the  rousing  up  in  Croatia  of  a 
strong  sentiment  of  nationality,  which  found  vent 
in  the  establishment  of  a  periodical,  something  like 
the  "Penny  Magazine5'  in  form,  in  the  Sclavish 
language.  This  is  the  "  Danica  Ilirska,"  edited  by 
Dr.  Gay.  It  is  published  once  a  week,  is  very 
respectably  got  up,  and  contains  national  songs, 
original  articles,  and  translations. 

They  are  now  endeavouring  to  improve  the  lan- 
guage by  introducing  new  words  in  use  among  the 
Illyrians,  whose  language  was  originally  the  same, 
but  which  is  now  more  polished.  The  Illyrian 
language  is  soft  and  agreeable  to  the  ear,  and  no 
doubt,  to  them,  contains  a  thousand  beauties  which 
no  other  language  can  possess.  There  seems  too 
to  be  some  idea  among  the  tetes  exaltees  here  of 


an  Illyrian  nationality.  It  is  no  uncommon  thing 
to  hear  them  reckoning  up  the  Croats,  Sclavonians, 
Bosnians,  Dalmatians,  Servians,  Montenegrins,  and 
Bulgarians,  and  then  comparing  this  mass  of  Sclaves 
with  the  three  or  four  millions  of  Magyars,  and 
proudly  asking  why  they  should  submit  to  deny 
their  language  and  their  origin  because  the  Magyars 
command  it. 

I  am  very  far  from  wishing  this  party  success, 
though  I  cannot  help  in  some  degree  sympathising 
with  a  people  who  resist,  when  they  think  a  stronger 
power  is  willing  to  abuse  its  strength  by  depriving 
the  weaker  of  those  objects — language  and  religion 
— which  they  hold  as  most  dear.  No  one  can  doubt 
how  highly  conducive  it  would  be  to  the  good  of 
Hungary  that  Croatia  should  be  made  completely 
Hungarian ;  or  that  it  is  disgraceful  to  the  age 
in  which  we  live,  that  Protestants  should  be  ex- 
cluded from  a  whole  country  on  account  of  their 
faith ;  yet  indubitable  as  are  these  facts,  it  may 
nevertheless  be  very  impolitic  to  seek  to  remedy 
them  by  violent  means. 

The  act  has  passed,  however,  which  declares  that 
in  ten  years'  time  no  Croat  shall  be  eligible  to  a 
public  office  who  cannot  read  and  write  the  Magyar 
language,  and  the  consequence  has  been,  the  crea- 
tion of  a  feeling  of  hatred  against  the  Magyars, 
which  bodes  but  very  ill  for  the  speedy  Magyarising 
of  the  Croatian  people.  I  have  no  doubt  that  some 
portion  of  this  opposition  is  connected  with  Rus- 


sian  intrigue;  for  it  is  particularly  strong  among 
the  members  of  the  Greek  church,  and  it  is  so 
much  the  interest  of  Russia  to  weaken  Austria,  by 
disorganising  her  ill-united  parts,  that  we  may  be 
sure  such  an  opportunity  for  the  attainment  of  her 
objects  would  not  be  lost.  That  many  of  those 
who  are  influential  in  spreading  the  discontent,  are 
unknowingly  instruments  in  the  hand  of  Russia,  I 
feel  certain ; — they  profess  indeed  a  most  bitter 
hatred  of  Russia,  and  I  have  no  doubt  feel  it  too ; 
but  they  are  as  certainly  working  out  her  objects 
as  if  they  were  her  paid  agents. 

Among  the  communicants  of  the  Greek  reli- 
gion, Russia  has  still  more  power  in  Croatia  than  in 
Transylvania,  because  of  the  similarity  of  the  lan- 
guages ;  and  this  influence  is  increased  by  the  cir- 
cumstance of  the  prayer-books  of  the  Croats  having 
been  formerly  all  printed  in  Russia.  They  conse- 
quently contained  many  Russianisms,  which  remain 
to  the  present  time,  though  it  is  no  longer  allowed 
to  print  them  out  of  Austria.  It  is  a  curious  cir- 
cumstance, too,  that  the  Catholic  and  Greek  reli- 
gionists, generally  such  bitter  enemies,  are  said  to 
agree  exceedingly  well  in  Croatia. 

We  had  observed,  in  walking  through  the  town, 
a  great  number  of  gentlemen  in  full  costume,  and 
on  inquiring  the  reason,  found  they  had  been  pre- 
sent at  a  county  meeting,  which  had  excited  great 
interest,  from  the  circumstance  of  a  royal  commis- 
sioner having  been  sent  down  expressly  to  attend 


it.  It  appeared  that  Government,  having  found  it 
impossible  to  check  smuggling,  by  means  of  its 
officers,  on  the  frontiers  of  Croatia,  had  determined 
to  station  them  at  different  places  within  the  coun- 
try, with  power  to  seize  suspected  goods  wherever 
they  might  find  them.  This,  however,  would  have 
been  a  gross  violation  of  the  Municipal  Constitution, 
which  places  the  whole  executive  power  in  the 
elected  officers  of  the  county;  and  the  Croatians 
declared,  accordingly,  that  they  would  not  submit 
to  it.  In  the  face  of  such  direct  opposition,  Govern- 
ment had  not  ventured  to  put  its  plan  into  execu- 
tion, and  had  sent  down  a  commissioner  to  explain 
its  intentions,  and,  if  possible,  to  persuade  the 
Croatians  to  consent.  One  of  them,  however,  with 
whom  we  fell  into  conversation,  observed,  "  We 
know  better  than  to  let  Government  officers  in 
amongst  us,  because,  when  once  there,  it  is  no  such 
easy  matter  to  get  rid  of  them  again ;  and  besides, 
the  very  laws  which  the  Government  wishes  to 
support  by  illegal  means,  are  themselves  contrary 
to  our  rights; — let  them  restore  to  us  our  free 
trade, —  till  they  do  that,  I  for  one  will  aid  the 
smuggler  by  every  means  I  possess." 

From  Agram  to  Karlstadt,  our  next  resting-place, 
we  passed  through  a  rather  uninteresting  country, 
occasionally  showing  symptoms  of  activity  and  cul- 
tivation, but  in  general  much  neglected.  The  Save, 
which  we  crossed  by  a  wooden  bridge  just  on  the 
outside  of  Agram,  is  a  fine  river,  and  we  were  told 

VOL.  II.  L   L 


contains  water  enough  at  all  seasons  to  float  barges 
of  two  hundred  tons,  bearing  merchandise.  A 
great  quantity  of  corn  and  brandy  comes  up  the 
Save  every  year  from  the  Banat,  for  Croatia,  Trieste, 
and  Italy ;  but  of  late  years  it  is  said  to  have  been 
diminished  by  the  competition  with  the  corn  from 
Odessa.  The  manner  in  which  many  of  the  forests 
are  destroyed  by  bad  management  in  this  country, 
is  really  melancholy,  and  the  destruction  has  gone  to 
such  an  extent  that  firewood  has  become  exceed- 
ingly dear.  We  were  told  at  Agram  that  a  klafter 
— a  small  cart  load — costs  as  much  as  eighteen  or 
twenty  shillings,  and  this  in  a  country  more  than 
half  of  which  is  in  wood. 

Karlstadt  is  on  the  Croatian  military  frontier, 
and  is  rather  a  pretty  town,  with  many  good  houses, 
inhabited  chiefly  by  the  border  officers.  It  has  a 
kind  of  fortress,  but  it  is  by  no  means  capable  of 
holding  out  against  artillery  for  a  moment.  The 
river  Kulpa,  which  flows  through  the  town,  and  the 
Ludovica  road — the  Hungarian  Simplon — are  the 
chief  sources  of  its  wealth  and  importance. 

From  the  communication  which  the  road  and  the 
Kulpa  were  expected  to  lay  open,  by  means  of  the 
Save  and  Danube,  between  the  Adriatic  and  the 
Black  Sea,  great  commercial  results  were  antici- 
pated ;  but  hitherto  it  has  disappointed  the  expec- 
tations which  were  formed.  A  gentleman  whom  we 
met  here,  told  us  that  the  Save  is  navigable  at  all 
times  of  the  year,  and  for  almost  any  craft,  and  that 



the  Kulpa,  even  in  its  present  state,  is  open  for 
large  boats  in  spring  and  autumn,  and  for  smaller 
ones  all  summer,  and  that,  with  very  little  expense, 
it  might  be  rendered  much  more  useful  than  it  even 
now  is.  As  yet  steam-boats  have  not  been  esta- 
blished, even  on  the  Save,  but  great  hopes  are 
entertained  that  they  will  be  ere  long.* 

As  we  were  sitting  down  to  our  supper  the  land- 

*  The  Athenceum  contains  a  letter,  dated  Vienna,  llth  October 
1838,  containing  a  very  interesting  notice  of  the  first  attempt 
to  navigate  the  Save  and  Kulpa  with  steam.  I  extract  a  portion 
of  it  :— 

"  The  steam-boat  (of  forty-horse  power)  was  named  the  Arch- 
duchess Sophia,  and  started  from  Semlin  as  follows  : — 

Date  of  Departure. 

Place  and  Hour  of  Arrival. 


6th  Sept. 
Semlin,  2  P.M. 


7th  Sept.  4  A.M. 

Gunza,  8th  Sept. 

3  A.M. 

Brood,  9th  Sept. 

Puska,  10th  Sept. 

7     A.M. 

Kupinova  ......  7  P.M. 

Witojercze    ...  8  A.M. 

Mitrovitz 12 

BonoraAdicza  2J 
Gunza 7| 

Supanye  7^ 

Schamacz 12^ 

Brood  5 

Swinar 8 

Jessenovacz . . .  5£ 
Puska 7| 

Lonya S£ 

Czaprak  l| 

Sissek  2 

Pass  the  night. 

An  island. 

The  ancient  Syrmium. 
7  floating  mills. 
Pass  the  night. 

10  Aust,  2  Bos  mills. 
Junction  of  the  Bosna. 
Pass  the  night. 

Junction  of  the  Verbas. 
Austrian  fortress. 
Junction  of  the  Unna. 
Pass  the  night. 

Retarded  by  a  fog. 
Enter  the  Kulpa. 
Termination    of    the 

L  L  2 



lord  introduced  an  officer  of  the  Borderers,  who 
having  heard  that  two  Englishmen  had  arrived  in 
Karlstadt,  and  being  himself  of  English  descent,  wish- 
ed to  see  them.  His  name  was  Samson,  and  we  found 
him  a  very  good-tempered  agreeable  acquaintance. 
He  spoke  of  the  Borderers  with  all  the  enthusiasm 
a  good  officer  might  be  supposed  to  feel  for  his  men. 
Those  of  the  Croatian  frontiers,  he  said,  though  not 
such  fine  large  men  as  those  of  the  Banat,  were  very 
clever  in  the  use  of  their  weapons,  to  which  they 


Date  of  Departure. 

Place  and  Hour  of  Arrival. 


Sissek,  llth  Sept. 

8^  A.M. 


3  A.M. 

Pass    the    night,    and 
take  in  wood. 

12th  Sept. 

5  A.M. 

Alt  Gradisca  . 


The  Save  very  narrow. 
Pass  the  night. 

13th  Sept. 

4|  A.M. 

Topola,  14th  Sept. 

5\  A.M. 



Brisk  salute. 
Take  in  wood. 
Pass  the  night. 

Termination    of    the 


The  voyage  was  perfectly  satisfactory;  and  there  seems  no 
reason  for  apprehending  interruption  to  the  navigation,  either 
from  want  of  water  in  summer  or  floating  ice  in  winter,  as  the 
experiment  has  been  made  during  the  driest  month  of  the  year ; 
and  the  frosts  of  winter  last  only  from  the  beginning  of  January 
to  the  beginning  of  February.  The  first  day's  voyage  passed  off 
without  incident.  On  the  7th,  when  approaching  Mitrovitz,  the 
Save  was  narrow  and  deep,  and  the  vessel  for  some  time  ascended 
very  slowly.  This  town  will  become  the  point  of  embarkation 


were  accustomed  from  their  childhood.  In  such 
constant  danger  are  they  from  incursions  from  the 
Turkish  Croatians  and  Bosnians,  that  they  never  go 
out  to  tend  their  sheep,  or  even  to  plough,  without 
being  armed.  As  might  be  expected,  they  become 
better  soldiers  than  agriculturists.  On  pressing  our 

for  the  famous  Schiller,  or  red  Syrmian  wine,  which  is  by  many 
thought  equal  to  Tokay.  On  the  forenoon  of  the  8th,  especial 
circumspection  became  requisite,  as  at  Wuchijak,  a  place  between 
Supanye  and  Schamacz,  the  river  became  broad  and  shallow, 
having  two  long  sand-banks ;  but  luckily  both  were  got  over 
without  once  grounding,  and  the  reception  of  our  smutty  Argo- 
nauts in  the  evening  at  Brood  was  in  the  highest  degree  gratifying. 
This  is  an  important  Austrian  fortress ;  a  salute  was  fired  on  the 
occasion,  and  the  natives  turned  out  en  masse.  The  appearance 
of  these  people,  with  their  long  shaggy  black  locks,  and  their  short 
black  caftan  (Gunyacz),  was  striking.  Their  language  is  a  curious 
mixture  of  Sclavonic  and  Latin  ;  for  example,  Kakasyte  dormirali 
— how  did  you  deep  ?  The  vessel  was  visited  by  Major-Gen,  von 
Neumann,  the  commandant  of  the  fortress,  and  the  evening  was 
spent  in  festivity.  On  the  9th  September,  two  officers  of  the 
fortress  accompanied  the  vessel  as  far  as  Alt  Gradisca,  which  is 
opposite  Berbir,  formerly  an  Austrian  tete  de  pont,  but  now  a 
Turkish  fortress.  A  picturesque  chain  of  hills,  rising  from  the 
river,  rendered  this  the  most  agreeable  part  of  the  voyage.  At 
Jessenovacz,  nine  hujas  farther  up,  the  right  bank  ceases  to  be 
Turkish  territory.  The  town  is  built  of  wood  ;  and,  as  it  stands 
on  piles,  has  been  sometimes  called  New  Amsterdam.  On  the 
10th,  at  two  o'clock,  the  boat  reached  Sissek,  and  was  received 
with  waving  banners,  joyous  music,  and  firing  of  muskets.  In  the 
evening  there  was  a  public  dinner,  when  the  healths  of  the  Emperor, 
the  Empress,  and  the  Arch-duke  Palatine,  were  drunk  with  loud 
applause ;  and  on  the  llth,  accompanied  by  twenty-three  indi- 
viduals, the  vessel  started  again  on  her  downward  voyage. 

Should  this  experiment  be  followed  up  with  spirit,  the  advan- 
tages which  may  flow  from  it  can  scarcely  be  overrated.     Tho 


friend  very  closely  as  to  the  subject  of  their  honesty, 
he  confessed  that  they  were  rather  apt  to  mistake 
other  people's  property  for  their  own, — "  not,"  he 
said,  "  that  they  steal  like  those  rascally  infidels, — 
they  only  take  things,  just  in  play,  as  children  do ! " 
Karlstadt,  he  said,  was  so  near  the  frontier,  and 
so  ill-defended,  that  a  party  of  Turks  might,  by 

present  trade  on  the  Save  and  Drave  is  limited  to  barrel  hoops, 
staves,  firewood,  &c.,  although  the  country  could  produce  vast 
quantities  of  corn,  wine,  and  iron.  It  is  true,  that  the  central 
parts  between  the  two  rivers  are  so  thickly  wooded,  that  the  old 
Hungarian  proverb  is  still  applicable, — "  Si  lupus  essem,  nollem 
alibi  quam  in  Sclavonia  lupus  esse ; " — but  all  along  the  Save, 
nature  has  poured  forth  her  choicest  blessings.  On  questioning 
my  informant  as  to  the  quality  of  the  soil,  "  fat  and  black  "  were 
the  adjectives  he  used.  It  would  be  out  of  place  to  enter  into  an 
examination  of  those  peculiar  laws  and  institutions  of  Hungary, 
which  hinder  the  influx  of  capital  and  the  developement  of  the 
national  resources.  I  shall,  therefore,  content  myself  with  re- 
marking how  curiously  the  interfering  with  the  laws  that  regulate 
production  and  distribution,  operates  in  two  countries  so  diiferent 
from  each  other.  In  England,  land  intended  by  nature  for  pas- 
ture, is  devoted  to  the  plough  ;  and  in  Hungary,  millions  of  acres 
of  what  might  be  garden  ground,  are  abandoned  to  swine  and 
cattle.  Sissek  is  only  forty  English  miles  from  Karlstadt,  between 
which  and  Fiume  is  the  splendid  road  constructed  under  the 
direction  of  Baron  Bukassawich ;  and  I  am  informed  that  if  the 
little  cataract  at  Ozuil  were  blown  up,  the  Kulpa  would  be  navi- 
gable to  within  thirty  or  forty  miles  of  the  sea.  As  it  is,  Fiume 
may  become  the  port  of  a  great  part  of  Hungary.  I  find,  by  the 
last  returns  in  the  Commercial  Gazette,  that,  in  the  month  of  August, 
the  imports  of  this  place  were  227,111  florins  ;  and  the  exports, 
consisting  principally  of  corn  and  tobacco,  349,904.  Should  then 
this  experiment  be  properly  followed  up,  the  Save  will  be  the  great 
highway  between  the  Adriatic  ports  and  Sernlin,  the  Banat,  Tran- 
sylvania, Szegedin,  and  all  the  towns  on  the  Theiss  and  Maras." 


a  sudden  incursion,  pillage  and  burn  it  any  day. 
Government,  however,  was  intending  to  fortify 
it  more  strongly.  He  seemed  to  have  a  sincere 
hatred  of  his  Turkish  neighbours,  and  described 
them  as  a  most  barbarous,  cruel,  and  rapacious  set, 
who  would  be  continually  at  war  if  they  dared. 
"  I  think,  however,"  he  observed,  "  we  have  quieted 
them  for  a  while ;  for  in  return  for  their  last  attack, 
we  followed  them  home,  and  burnt  one  of  their 
largest  villages,  containing  two  hundred  houses,  to 
the  ground." 

The  next  day  we  commenced  the  passage  of  the 
mountains  to  Fiume,  along  the  line  of  the  Ludovica- 
road.  This  road  was  formed  by  a  private  company 
under  the  direction  of  General  Vukassovics,  but  ra- 
ther as  a  patriotic  undertaking  than  as  a  commercial 
speculation.  It  extends  eighteen  German,  or  about 
eighty-five  English,  miles.  Nothing  can  be  more 
beautifully  constructed  than  it  is;  there  is  not  a 
sudden  elevation  of  any  consequence  from  one  end 
to  the  other,  and  the  slopes  are  so  gradual  that  a 
carriage  may  be  driven  at  a  trot  up  and  down  them 
without  danger  or  difficulty.  The  body  of  the  road 
itself  is  perhaps  a  little  too  arched,  but  the  parapet 
walls,  drains,  water-courses,  and  bridges,  are  most 
beautifully  executed,  and  maintained  in  excellent 

Our  first  stage  of  two  posts  brought  us  by  gradual 
ascents  into  as  wild  and  mountainous  a  district  as 
I  ever  saw.  The  stratum  is  entirely  a  compact  lime- 

520  SKRAD. 

stone,  presenting  in  many  places  those  vast  cauldron- 
shaped  hollows  which  are  so  frequent  near  Trieste. 

We  were  surprised,  on  inquiring  in  German  if 
anything  in  the  shape  of  dinner  could  be  got  at 
the  station-house,  to  be  answered  in  very  good 
Irish,  "Sure  there  is,  your  honour, — eggs  and  bacon 
in  plenty,  and  a  chicken  if  your  honour 's  not  in  a 
hurry."  Our  respondent,  we  found,  was  the  daugh- 
ter of  an  Irishman  who  had  served  under  Napoleon, 
and  she  herself  had  been  many  years  in  General 
Count  Nugent's  family.  She  had  married  an  Italian 
fellow-servant,  and  Count  Nugent  had  set  them  up 
in  this  inn,  which  is  situated  on  a  part  of  his  own 
estate.  We  were  the  first  Englishmen  she  had  seen 
since  her  settlement  in  this  place,  and  how  she 
managed  to  make  us  out  by  the  blue  ends  of  our 
noses,  which  was  all  that  could  be  seen  out  of  our 
fur  cloaks,  is  more  than  I  can  guess.  She  was  glad 
enough  to  see  us,  and  did  her  best  to  make  us 
comfortable  with  such  poor  means  as  were  within 
her  power. 

We  got  on  as  far  as  Skrad  before  night,  which, 
like  all  the  other  villages  in  this  district,  is  a 
miserable  place.  The  whole  country  we  passed 
through  is  mere  rock  and  wood ;  and  though  clear- 
ing and  cultivating  might  do  something  towards 
improving  its  dreary  aspect,  it  must  ever  remain 
a  very  barren  district.  We  passed  some  long  trains 
of  waggons  in  the  course  of  the  day,  chiefly  laden 
with  timber,  rags,  and  some  corn,  which  they  were 


conveying  to  Fiume.  Others  which  we  met  return- 
ing were  quite  empty. 

We  ascended  still  higher  in  the  course  of  the 
second  day,  not  that  we  could  observe  it  by  the 
road  itself, — for  it  is  so  beautifully  laid  out  that  the 
ascent  is  quite  imperceptible, — but  we  found  the 
snow,  which  had  been  all  melted  in  the  lower  re- 
gions, still  clinging,  as  we  advanced,  to  the  mountain 
sides.  As  we  began  to  descend  we  were  roused 
from  a  doze  by  a  sudden  cry  from  Miklos,  of  "  a 
great  water  !  a  great  water ! "  and  starting  up,  we 
found  the  Adriatic,  studded  with  beautiful  islands, 
and  sprinkled  over  with  fishing-boats,  directly  be- 
neath us.  For  some  moments  after  his  first  ex- 
clamation, Miklos  remained  quite  silent,  from  awe 
and  wonder,  till  at  last  he  said,  "  Your  Grace,  that 
must  be  the  Danube  again,  no  other  water  can  be 
so  large ;  and  see,  there  are  wild  ducks  swimming 
all  about."  He  could  not  believe,  even  when  we 
told  him,  that  it  was  the  sea  he  saw,  and  that 
his  ducks  were  large  boats,  which  the  distance  only 
made  appear  so  small. 

The  descent  to  Fiume  was  one  succession  of  beau- 
ties, increasing  as  we  advanced.  The  construc- 
tion of  this  part  of  the  road  is  exceedingly  fine, 
quite  equal  to  anything  of  the  kind  in  Europe.  In 
one  place  it  has  been  cut  straight  through  the  rocks, 
and  forms  a  kind  of  gateway  called  the  Porta  Un- 
garica.  In  the  course  of  the  descent,  on  one  side 
the  road  we  observed  a  large  plain,  completely  sur- 


rounded  by  mountains,  arid  forming  a  colossal  am- 
phitheatre. It  was  in  this  spot  that  the  Tartars, 
after  having  overrun  all  Hungary,  encamped,  and 
where  they  were  fallen  upon  by  the  people,  who  had 
collected  on  the  mountains  round,  and  cut  to  pieces. 
Eight  thousand  are  said  to  have  remained  on  the  field. 

When  we  had  nearly  finished  the  descent,  we 
came  to  a  barrier,  and  were  desired  to  show  our 
passports ;  and  no  sooner  did  the  officer  find  from 
them  that  we  were  foreigners,  than  he  demanded  a 
toll  of  six  shillings  and  four  pence  for  having  passed 
over  the  road.  "  You  ought,"  he  said,  "  to  have 
paid  at  the  other  end,  but  the  man  there  probably 
mistook  you  for  Hungarian  gentlemen,  and  so  let 
you  pass."  We,  of  course,  paid  it,  and  in  a  few 
minutes  after  rattled  over  the  stones  of  Fiume,  till 
we  came  to  a  stand  before  the  hotel  door. 

And  while  we  are  settling  down  there,  let  us  say 
a  few  words  as  to  the  prospective  advantages  of 
this  road.  We  have  stated,  that  hitherto  it  has 
been  little  used,  partly  on  account  of  the  high  tolls, 
partly  from  the  want  of  further  improvements  for 
facilitating  the  navigation  of  the  Save  and  Kulpa — 
but  most  of  all  from  the  want  of  commerce  between 
Hungary  and  other  countries.  Supposing  for  a 
moment  all  these  drawbacks  removed,  it  still  re- 
mains a  question  whether  Fiume  can  ever  become 
the  port  of  Hungary,  and  the  Ludovica  road  its 
great  artery.  We  doubt  if  it  ever  will,  though 
\ve  by  no  means  condemn  it  to  languish  for  ever 


in  its  present  state.  The  trade  of  Hungary  must 
follow  the  course  of  the  Danube,  and  find  its  port 
on  the  shores  of  the  Black  Sea.  The  superior 
richness  of  the  country  through  which  the  Danube 
flows,  the  ease  of  transporting  heavy  goods  up  and 
down  a  stream  of  such  size,  almost  without  any 
land-carriage,  the  number  of  its  tributary  streams, 
and  the  wealth  and  importance  of  the  towns  on  its 
banks,  render  this  unquestionable.  The  only  diffi- 
culty which  presents  itself  is  the  passage  of  the  Iron 
Gates  ;  and  with  fifty  miles  of  road  for  towing  or 
transport,  this  will  henceforth  be  of  little  conse- 
quence. It  is  true,  that  warehouses  are  necessary 
at  Scala  Gladova,  Orsova,  and  Moldova ;  that  a  con- 
sular agent  ought  to  be  stationed  at  Orsova;  that, 
in  fact,  many  arrangements  are  required  to  render 
commercial  intercourse  perfectly  easy  and  conve- 
nient ;  but,  sooner  or  later,  they  will  be  made,  for 
by  this  route  alone  can  a  great  commerce  ever 
be  carried  on.  At  the  same  time  Croatia  and 
Sclavonia  may  transport  a  part  of  their  timber, 
hemp,  rags,  and  tallow  by  Fiume,  and  receive  in 
return  the  manufactures  of  the  west.  But  there 
is  another  light  in  which,  in  the  present  aspect  of 
European  affairs,  this  road  may  be  regarded.  At 
every  moment  we  hear  of  tremendous  armaments, 
on  the  part  of  Russia,  collecting  in  Bessarabia  and 
along  the  banks  of  the  Danube ;  of  great  fleets 
manoeuvring  in  the  Black  Sea,  ready  in  a  moment 
to  overwhelm  the  dependencies  of  Turkey,  but 


intended,  probably,  only  to  frighten  European  diplo- 
matists into  the  belief  that  she  could  do  so.  Sup- 
pose, for  a  moment,  that  these  troops  had  marched, 
and  these  vessels  had  sailed ;  suppose  even  that  the 
Dardanelles  were  closed  to  our  fleet ;  what  means 
does  this  road  afford  to  Austria  of  controlling  the 
fate  of  Turkey  ?  Austria,  on  the  first  alarm,  could 
throw  a  body  of  troops  into  Transylvania  and  along 
the  Wallachian  frontiers,  where  they  would  occupy 
a  position  confessedly  impregnable.  She  could  then 
admit  through  Fiume  a  French  or  English  army 
which,  after  a  march  of  eighty  miles  over  the  Ludo- 
vica  road,  could  be  placed  on  board  the  large 
corn-boats  on  the  Kulpa  or  Save,  and  transported 
without  fatigue  or  loss  down  the  Danube  into  the 
heart  of  Wallachia  in  about  ten  days.  She  would 
thus  have  placed  an  overwhelming  force  in  the  rear 
of  the  Russian  army,  with  the  power  of  intercepting, 
in  winter,  when  the  ports  of  the  Black  Sea  are 
frozen,  the  only  route  by  which  that  army  could 
receive  supplies.  In  this  point  of  view  the  Ludovica 
road  may  still  be  of  European  importance.  It  is 
well  known  too  that  we  are  dependent  on  Russia  for 
a  vast  quantity  of  raw  produce,  without  which  our 
trade  could  not  get  on.  As  we  shall  see  hereafter, 
these  articles  can  be  furnished  as  well  by  Hungary, 
and  by  the  Fiume  road  they  could  always  reach  the 
Mediterranean  in  spite  of  Russia. 

On   presenting   our  letters   of   introduction,    we 
were  very  politely  received  by  the  deputy-governor, 

FIUME.  525 

Count  Almasi,  and  everything  worth  seeing  at  Fiume 
was  at  once  laid  open  to  us.  In  truth,  the  sights  of 
Fiume  are  no  great  matters.  It  is  a  pretty  little 
seaport  town,  with  a  good  harbour;  but,  although 
possessing  the  advantages  of  a  free  port,  it  was  un- 
tenanted  by  a  single  vessel  of  any  size.  Nothing 
can  be  more  beautiful  than  the  situation  of  Fiume; 
it  is  backed  by  immense  rocks,  the  sides  of  which 
are  covered,  wherever  a  particle  of  soil  can  rest, 
with  vineyards ;  while  in  front  is  the  Adriatic  and 
its  lovely  islands.  The  town  has  quite  an  Italian 
air  about  it,  and  nothing  but  Italian  and  Illyrian  is 
heard  in  the  shops  and  streets.  Fiume  has  a  club 
and  theatre,  and  the  social  life  of  its  inhabitants  is 
said  to  be  pleasant  enough.  It  has  a  little  semi- 
diplomatic  society,  too,  of  consuls,  to  which  we 
were  introduced,  and  from  some  of  the  consuls  we 
obtained  a  good  deal  of  information.  It  had  formerly 
a  very  extensive  sugar  refinery,  occupying  one  thou- 
sand persons ;  but,  as  it  had  originally  been  created 
by  a  royal  privilege,  so  it  was  destroyed  when  the 
privilege  was  withdrawn.  The  only  productive  in- 
dustry at  present  existing,  is  thn  paper-mill  of 
our  countrymen,  Messrs.  Smith  &  Co.  We  visited 
their  mill,  which  is  placed  near  the  end  of  the 
Ludovica  road,  and  is  worked  by  the  torrent  which 
rushes  down  from  the  mountain.  Mr.  Smith  told 
us  that  they  employed  about  two  hundred  and  fifty 
people,  who  worked  pretty  well,  and  were  easily  kept 
in  order,  and  that  every  day  they  were  obliged  to 

526  TRADE   OF   FIUME. 

refuse  applications  for  work.  All  their  machinery 
is  brought  direct  from  England.  They  produce  a 
fair  writing  paper,  though  nothing  of  a  very  su- 
perior character,  which  is  almost  entirely  consumed 
in  the  Levant. 

About  a  mile  or  two  south  of  the  town,  a  large 
Lazaretto  has  been  built,  in  one  of  the  most  beau- 
tiful bays  I  almost  ever  saw.  They  say  the  arrange- 
ments of  this  Lazaretto  are  perfect — there  is  nothing 
wanting  but  ships  to  fill  it.  Ten  miles  still  further 
south,  is  Porto  Re,  a  large  and  commodious  harbour, 
built  by  Charles  VI.,  and  acknowledged  to  be  the 
safest  and  best  in  the  Austrian  dominions.  A 
war- steamer  had  just  been  built  there.  The  small 
portion  of  sea-coast  between  Istria  and  Dalmatia, 
has  often  figured  in  the  gravamina  of  the  Hungarian 
Diet  as  the  Litorale.  For  a  long  time  Austria  re- 
fused to  give  it  up  ;  and  though  she  has  yielded 
with  respect  to  this  part,  Dalmatia  and  the  islands, 
equally  demanded  by  the  Hungarians  as  a"  portion 
of  their  dominions,  are  still  refused  to  them. 

We  have  met  a  stout  liberal  here,  who  is  at  the 
same  time  a  Sclave  and  a  strong  supporter  of  the 
Sclavish  nationality.  He  speaks  with  great  admir- 
ation of  the  talent  with  which  Napoleon  seized  on 
this  point  when  he  formed  his  kingdom  of  Illyria, 
and  the  power  that  this  idea  still  exercises  over  the 
minds  of  the  people.  Dalmatia  he  describes  as  an 
exceedingly  interesting  country,  though  the  people 
are  in  a  very  wild  and  savage  state.  If  we  had  had 


time,  we  should  have  liked  to  have  accepted  this 
gentleman's  offer  to  show  us  the  most  important 
parts  of  Dalmatia:  but  the  steamer  was  to  leave 
Trieste  in  a  few  days,  and  Pola  and  its  amphitheatre 
had  still  to  be  seen. 

The  commerce  of  Fiume  is  said  to  be  very  insigni- 
ficant, and  to  be  confined  almost  exclusively  to  rags, 
staves,  corn,  and  tobacco.  Of  late  years  the  corn 
trade  has  fallen  off  considerably,  the  Odessa  mer- 
chants having,  from  their  facilities  for  trade,  been 
enabled  to  undersell  the  Fiume  merchants,  not  only 
in  the  ports  of  Italy,  but  sometimes  even  in  Fiume 
itself.  The  best  part  of  the  Fiume  trade  is  with  the 
smugglers  ;  and  smuggling  is  so  far  recognised,  that 
an  Englishman,  who  set  up  to  trade  here  in  an 
honest  manner,  received  a  friendly  warning  from 
high  authority  to  imitate  his  neighbours,  if  he  did 
riot  wish  to  be  ruined.  As  Fiume  itself  is  a  free  port, 
of  course  it  is  surrounded  on  every  side  by  custom- 
house officers,  who  are  so  numerous,  for  this  place 
alone,  as  to  cost  sixty  thousand  florins  (6000/.)  per 
annum.  Not  that  they  are  of  any  use ;  for,  as  one 
of  the  authorities  observed,  "  ten  pence  a  day  is  all 
they  get  for  doing  their  duty,  and,  of  course,  twenty 
pence  will  easily  induce  them  to  neglect  it."  The 
coast,  too,  is  of  so  mountainous  a  character,  that 
it  would  be  almost  impossible  to  protect  it,  except 
by  introducing  a  more  liberal  commercial  system. 

And  now,  before  we  close  these  volumes,  —  for  at 
Fiume  our  Travels  in  Hungary  may  be  said  to  have 


finished,  and  Pola  and  Trieste  are  too  well  known 
to  require  description,  —  we  must  say  a  few  words 
on  the  commercial  resources  and  prospects  of 
Hungary.  It  is  so  singular  a  fact  that  a  coun- 
try overflowing  with  natural  productions,  and  in 
want  of  every  article  of  manufactured  industry, 
should  be  quite  unknown  to  the  merchants  of  Eng- 
land, that  some  explanation  of  it  seems  required. 
In  the  first  place,  we  shall  enumerate  the  chief 
productions  of  Hungary,  and  shall  then  endeavour 
to  show  why  these  have  not  been  sought  for  by  the 
English,  and  point  out  what  the  chief  advantages 
are  which  we  might  derive  from  a  trade  with 

Hungary  and  Transylvania,  —  for  we  shall  now 
speak  of  the  two  together,  —  with  a  population  of 
twelve  millions,  occupy  a  surface  of  about  one 
hundred  and  ten  thousand  English  square  miles. 
This  surface  is  exceedingly  various  in  its  nature, 
but  on  the  whole  it  may  be  set  down  as  one  of 
the  most  fruitful  portions  of  Europe,  as  well  as 
one  of  the  most  rich  in  natural  productions. 

We  have  already  said  so  much  of  mines  and 
mining,  that  it  is  scarcely  necessary  to  state  here 
how  extensive  the  veins  of  gold  and  silver  are 
which  run  through  the  whole  country.  It  has  been 
stated  by  Beudant,  that  there  is  more  gold  and 
silver  found  in  Hungary  than  in  all  the  rest  of 
Europe  besides.  The  privilege  of  working  the 
mines  is  open  to  every  one  on  the  payment  of  a 


tenth  of  the  produce  to  the  Crown;  the  only  other 
restriction  being  the  obligation  to  have  the  pre- 
cious metals  coined  in  the  country,  for  which  a 
small  per-centage  is  charged.  From  the  number 
of  places  in  which  we  have  seen  iron  hammers,  it 
must  be  evident  that  iron  abounds  throughout 
extensive  districts;  but  hitherto  the  iron  mines 
have  been  very  badly  worked,  and  the  iron  so  ill- 
wrought  as  to  be  extremely  dear.  For  the  erec- 
tion of  the  new  chain-bridge  at  Pest,  it  has  been 
found  cheaper  to  have  the  iron-work  cast  in 
England,  sent  by  water  to  Fiume  or  Trieste,  and 
from  thence  by  land  to  Pest,  than  to  have  it  ma- 
nufactured either  in  Hungary  or  in  any  other  part 
of  the  Austrian  dominions.  Such  is  the  advantage 
which  commercial  habits  and  scientific  knowledge 
give  over  cheap  labour.  I  have  heard  it  stated 
that  the  iron  of  Hungary  possesses  qualities  superior 
to  that  of  any  other  part  of  Europe,  except  Sweden, 
for  conversion  into  steel ;  yet  it  is  so  badly  wrought 
that  worse  cutlery  cannot  exist  than  that  of  Hun- 
gary. Hungarian  iron  is  quite  unknown  in  the 
English  market. 

Copper  is  found  in  great  abundance  —  forty  thou- 
sand hundred-weight  yearly.  Lead,  and  indeed 
every  other  metal,  is  obtained,  but  rather  more 
sparingly.  Sulphur  occurs  in  eight  different  coun- 
ties ;  but  it  is  often  not  worked  from  the  want  of 
demand  for  the  article ;  I  have  myself  seen  mines 
given  up  from  no  other  cause.  This  is  of  import- 

VOL.  II.  M  M 

530  TIMBER. 

ance  at  the  present  moment  when  the  Sicilian 
monopoly  is  in  the  hands  of  Frenchmen,  who  are 
said  to  have  raised  the  price  of  their  sulphur,  and 
thereby  inflicted  a  considerable  injury  on  many 
branches  of  English  industry. 

The  quantity  of  salt  which  these  countries  can 
produce  seems  quite  unlimited;  and  from  the  fine 
condition  of  the  mines,  the  pure  state  in  which  the 
salt  occurs,  and  the  position  of  the  beds  near  navi- 
gable rivers,  it  might  be  procured  as  cheaply  as 
from  any  part  of  the  world.  Soda,  alum,  potash, 
and  saltpetre,  are  all  abundant,  but  particularly 
soda,  which  occurs  in  great  purity  and  plenty  on 
the  plain  near  Debreczen. 

Coal,  as  I  have  already  said,  is  found  in  several 
districts,  and  I  believe  it  is  the  only  coal  in  Europe 
which  can  contest  the  field  with  that  of  England 
for  the  use  of  steam-engines.  That  it  is  at  present 
as  dear  as  English  coal  imported  via  Constantinople 
is  entirely  attributable  to  bad,  or  rather  dishonest, 

Of  wood,  Hungary,  and  the  neighbouring  coun- 
tries, Bosnia  and  Servia,  are  capable  of  furnishing 
vast  stores.  At  present,  England  receives  a  large 
portion  of  her  timber  from  the  Baltic,  which  might 
be  as  well  obtained  from  these  countries,  by  Fiume 
or  the  Black  Sea,  and  the  navy  of  England  would 
then  be  no  longer  dependent  for  its  supply  on  the 
country  which  is  most  likely  to  place  itself  in  rival- 
ship  with  her.  The  forests  of  Hungary,  particularly 

TIMBER. — HEMP.  531 

the  Bakonyer,  are  almost  entirely  composed  of  oak, 
which  is  of  two  kinds, — the  red,  a  quick-growing 
soft  wood,  of  little  use  except  for  firing;  and  the 
white,  a  firm  lasting  timber,  well  adapted  for  ship- 
building, or  other  purposes  requiring  durability. 
In  those  parts  of  the  country  where  the  roads  are 
too  bad  to  allow  of  the  transport  of  large  blocks 
of  timber,  the  wood  might  be  cut  into  staves,  for 
which  there  is  always  a  great  demand,  and  so  con- 
veyed to  the  coast  in  smaller  loads  for  exportation. 
A  considerable  trade  is  already  carried  on  in  this 
article  between  Fiume  and  Marseilles,  most  of  the 
staves  being  procured  from  Bosnia  and  brought  by 
land-carriage  to  Fiume.  The  opening  of  the  Save 
and  Drave  would  considerably  reduce  the  cost  of 
carriage,  and  wood  might  then  be  transported, 
nearly  the  whole  way,  by  water  to  the  Black  Sea. 

Another  article  connected  with  our  shipping  in- 
terest, to  which  we  have  already  alluded,  is  hemp. 
All  the  hemp  used  in  the  navy  is  of  Russian  growth, 
and  it  is  one  of  the  chief  of  our  imports  from  that 
country.  The  hemp  of  Hungary  is  both  cheaper 
and  better;  and  instead  of  taking  it  from  a  rival, 
we  should  take  it  from  a  safe  ally.* 

Hides   and   tallow  are   also   articles   of  Russian 

*  Some  months  since,  I  heard  that  a  part  of  the  navy  contract 
was  to  be  given  to  Baron  Eskeles  of  Vienna  for  a  supply  of  Hun- 
garian hemp,  but  I  am  not  aware  that  the  arrangements  are  yet 
concluded.  No  exertions  ought  to  be  spared  either  by  Austria 
or  England  to  carry  them  out. 

M  M  2 

532  WINES. 

commerce,  in  which  Hungary  might  prove  a  for- 
midable rival. 

Of  the  Hungarian  tobacco  we  have  spoken  at 
length  elsewhere.  Although  the  tobacco  of  Hun- 
gary is  an  article  which,  from  the  peculiar  position 
in  which  we  stand  with  respect  to  our  Colonies,  can 
scarcely  gain  a  footing  in  the  English  market ;  yet  it 
is  one  which  the  German  and  Italian  merchants  would 
gladly  avail  themselves  of,  if  they  were  allowed. 

Horse-hair,  bristles,  gall-nuts,  and  rags,  are  all 
articles  of  Hungarian  commerce ;  and  of  the  latter 
very  large  exportations  to  this  country  already  take 
place  annually. 

Spirits  of  wine  are  produced  at  a  low  rate,  and 
are  exported  to  Germany. 

It  is  always  a  difficult  matter  to  decide  how  far 
any  wine  will  suit  a  particular  market ;  but  I  have 
a  strong  suspicion  that  a  really  good  wine  will  suit 
all ;  and,  if  I  may  trust  my  own  taste,  I  should 
say  that  much  of  the  Hungarian  wine  deserves 
that  character.  Hungarian  wines  may  be  divided 
into  two  classes,  the  sweet  wines,  or  Ausbrucli,  and 
the  red  and  white  table  wines.  The  most  cele- 
brated of  the  sweet  wines  is  that  of  Tokay,  which 
for  delicacy  of  flavour  and  brightness  of  colour  is 
unequalled.  Next  to  Tokay  comes  the  M£nes 
wine,  but  though  rich  and  strong,  it  has  a  coarse 
taste  when  compared  with  Tokay.  Among  the  best 
dessert  wines,  after  these,  are  reckoned  those  of 
Ruszt,  Karlowitz,  St.  Georg,  and  (Edenburg.  These 

WINES.  533 

wines  are  commonly  drunk  only  in  very  small  quan- 
tities, a  glass  or  two  taken  with  the  sweets  being 
the  extreme.  As  there  is  so  very  little  taste  for 
sweet  wines  in  England,  I  doubt  if  these  wines 
would  find  any  great  number  of  admirers  amongst 
us,  at  least  until  our  habits  are  changed. 

Of  the  table  wines  it  is  difficult  to  give  any  de- 
scription, they  are  so  numerous  and  so  little  known. 
The  wines  of  Buda  (Offner  in  German)  and  Erlau, 
are  those  I  prefer  of  the  red  wines ;  indeed,  I 
think  I  have  drunk  old  Buda  equal  to  the  best 
Burgundy.  Those  of  Posing,  St.  Georg,  Sexo, 
Miskolcz,  Neustadt,  and  many  others,  are  cele- 
brated, but  I  cannot  recollect  them  sufficiently  to 
speak  of  their  merits. 

Among  the  white  wines,  I  can  answer  for  those 
of  Somlyo  (Schomlauer  in  German)  and  Nesz- 
m£ly  being  equal  to  any  of  the  white  wines  of 
France  (excepting,  of  course,  champagne),  and  they 
are  better  to  my  taste  than  the  generality  of  the 
sour  products  of  the  Rhine.  Others  of  note  are 
those  of  Ratzischdorf,  Badacson,  Szekszard  and 
Sirak.  Of  the  Transylvanian  wines  I  have  spoken 
at  sufficient  length  already.  The  white  wines  of 
that  country  are  certainly  not  inferior  to  those  of 

The  characteristic  qualities  of  the  Hungarian 
wines  are  their  strength  and  fire.  They  almost  all 
of  them  require  keeping  some  time  before  they 
come  to  their  prime.  It  is  supposed  that  of  the 

534  WOOL. 

24,400,000  eimers  grown  in  the  country,  not  more 
than  80,000  are  exported,  and  these  go  almost 
exclusively  to  Silesia,  Poland,  and  Russia.  Vienna 
consumes  also  a  considerable  quantity  of  Hunga- 
rian wine.  It  was  long  questioned  whether  these 
wines  would  bear  transporting  across  the  sea,  but 
Count  Sze*chenyi  tried  the  experiment  by  sending  a 
cask  to  the  East  Indies,  and  when  it  came  back,  it 
was  found  perfectly  sound  at  the  end  of  the  voyage. 
The  addition  of  a  little  brandy  might  be  required 
by  some  of  the  lighter  sorts;  but  with  that  and 
with  more  care  in  the  preparation  of  the  wine  and 
the  cleaning  of  the  casks,  I  have  no  doubt  they 
would  be  perfectly  safe. 

Wool  is  at  present  one  of  the  chief  articles  of 
Hungarian  commerce,  chiefly  because  its  exporta- 
tion is  un taxed.  It  is  scarcely  twenty  years  since 
the  Merino  sheep  have  been  introduced  into  Hun- 
gary, and  the  quantity  of  fine  wool  now  produced 
may  be  judged  from  the  fact,  that  at  the  last  Pest  fair 
there  were  no  less  than  80,000  centners  offered  for 
sale.  The  greater  part  of  this  wool  is  bought  by  the 
German  merchants,  and  much  of  it  is  said  to  go 
ultimately  to  England,  after  having  passed  by  land 
quite  across  Europe  to  Hamburg.  Of  late  years,  a 
few  English  merchants  have  made  their  appearance 
at  the  Pest  fairs,  which  are  held  four  times  in  the 
year ;  but  I  have  not  yet  heard  of  any  wool  being 
sent  to  England  by  the  Danube  and  Black  Sea. 
Besides  the  Merino  wool,  there  is  a  considerable 

CORN.  535 

quantity  of  a  long  coarse  wool  grown,  which  is 
chiefly  sold  for  the  manufacture  of  the  thick  white 
cloth  worn  by  the  peasants,  and  which  might  be 
found  very  serviceable  for  our  carpet  fabrics. 

A  still  more  important  article  of  Hungarian 
produce  is  corn,  and  it  is  one  from  which,  it  is 
to  be  hoped,  England  ere  long,  by  the  abolition 
of  her  corn  laws,  will  enable  herself  to  derive  the 
full  benefit.  At  present,  the  quantity  of  grain 
annually  produced  in  Hungary  is  reckoned  at 
from  sixty  to  eighty  millions  of  Presburg  metzen. 
This  calculation,  however,  is  of  little  importance, 
as  at  present  scarcely  any  is  grown  for  export- 
ation ;  but,  were  a  market  once  opened,  it  is  be- 
yond a  doubt  that  the  produce  might  be  doubled 
or  trebled  without  any  difficulty.  I  have  heard 
it  stated  by  one  well  able  to  judge,  that  at  the 
present  time  one  quarter  of  the  whole  country 
is  uncultivated,  although  the  greater  part  of  it 
is  capable  of  furnishing  the  richest  crops  at  a 
very  slight  cost.  The  wheat  of  Hungary  is  al- 
lowed to  be  of  an  excellent  quality.  Where  the 
land  has  little  or  no  value  for  other  purposes, 
and  the  labour  costs  nothing,  it  is  difficult  to 
see  how  it  can  be  produced  anywhere  at  a  cheaper 
rate  than  here.*  Nor  do  I  think  an  increased 
demand  would  materially  raise  the  price  to  the 

*  In  an  article  in  a  late  number  of  the  British  and  Foreign 
Quarterly,  it  is  stated  that  Hungarian  wheat  from  Fiume  can 
be  brought  to  England  at  a  lower  rate  than  from  any  other 

536  CORN. 

foreign    consumer ;    as    improvements    in    the    art 
of  cultivation,  greater  industry  on  the  part  of  the 

country.     I  quote  the  statement  as  it  stands,  without  being  able 

however  to  vouch  for  its  accuracy  : — 

"  The  price  of  Hungarian  wheat  fit  for  shipment  )  fl.  kr.      s.  d. 

to  England  is  at  present,  per  metzen,  at  Sissek  .  j    2  45  or  5  6 

N.B.  At  other  times  it  is  30  or  40  per  cent,  less.) 
Expense  of  transport  from  Sissek  to  Karlstadt  by  )    Q  ]  Q  or  Q  4 

the  river  Kulpa J 

Expense  of  transport  from  Karlstadt  to  Fiume  by  1    o  50  or  1  8 

land  j 

3  45  or  7  6 

"  Hence  we  find,  that  the  price  of  Hungarian  corn  at  Fiume  is 
3  florins,  45  kreutzers,  or  7s.  Qd.  sterling  per  metzen.  Now, 
2  metzen  are  considered  equal  to  3  stajo  or  staro,  Venetian  or 
Trieste  measure  j  hence  we  find  that  the  cost  of  Hungarian  corn 
per  stajo  is  5  florins,  or  10s. ;  the  rate  of  freight  from  Fiume  to 
Trieste  by  sea  is  7  kreutzers,  or  2%d. ;  the  whole  cost,  therefore,  at 
Trieste,  is  5  florins,  7  kreutzers,  or  10s.  2%d. :  348  stajo,  however, 
are  considered  equal  to  100  imperial  quarters,  according  to  which 
estimation  the  price  of  corn  at  Trieste,  per  imperial  quarter,  is 
35s.  7J  -fgd. 

"  To  this  calculation  must  be  added, 
For  the  several  commissions  at  Sissek,  Karlstadt,  and 

Fiume 5    per  cent. 

For  waste,  deterioration,  uninsured  risk,  insurance    3    per  cent. 
Rate  of  insurance  from  Trieste  to  England     .         .    1|  per  cent. 
Export  duty  from  the  Austrian  dominions,  or  Hun- 
gary, to  the  district  of  a  free  port,  or  to  a  foreign 

country 9^  per  cent. 

Amount  of  commission  del  credere          .         .         .    3£  per  cent. 
Charges  and  expenses  on  shipping          .         .         .2    per  cent. 
The  uninsured  risk,  heating,  short  weight,  deteriora- 
tion on  the  voyage  from  Trieste  to  England        .    1    per  cent. 
The  whole  per  centage,  as  above  detailed,  is  equal 

to  24£  per  cent. 

CORN.  537 

cultivators,  and  increased  facilities  in  the  means 
of  communication,  would  be  sufficient  to  raise  the 
profits  of  the  grower  without  increasing  the  cost 
to  the  consumer. 

No  corn-growing  country  has  such  means  of  com- 
munication prepared  by  nature  as  Hungary,  and 
it  requires  only  a  demand  for  her  productions  to 
bring  them  into  full  use.  The  richest  parts  of  the 
country  are  the  Banat,  the  plains  on  either  side 
the  Theiss,  the  country  north  of  the  Maros,  and 
the  districts  about  the  Save  and  Drave.  Now  every 

Now  24|  per  cent,  upon  35s.  7d.  is  8s.  8|§^d  ;  leaving  out  the 
fraction,  the  price  of  Hungarian  corn  per  quarter  is  44s.  3d. :  add 
8s.,  which  is  about  the  average  freight  to  England,  the  cost  of 
Hungarian  corn  to  the  English  merchant  is  52s.  3d. 

"  It  must  be  remembered,  however,  that  the  price  of  the  corn  at 
Sissek  (the  principal  depot  for  corn  collected  from  the  country,  or 
brought  by  the  Save  from  New  Becse,  where  considerable  pur- 
chases are  made),  upon  which  we  have  based  our  calculation,  was 
taken  at  the  present  high  average,  though  it  is  sometimes  40  per 
cent,  lower.  If,  then,  we  had  adopted  the  lowest  instead  of  the 
highest  rate  for  the  stajo  at  Sissek,  the  final  result  would  have 
been  more  than  3s.  lower ;  let  us  now  adopt  a  mean  average 
between  49s.  and  52s.  3d.,  it  will  give  50s.  1\d.  The  following, 
then,  is  the  result  of  the  previous  calculations  :  the  price  in  Eng- 
land of  corn  imported, 

s.   d. 

from  France is  52  3 

America  ....  50  0 

Odessa 52  0 

Hamburgh       ...  54  4£ 

Dantzic 52  6 

Lower  Baltic  .         .         •  51  5 

Hungary 50  7£" 


one  of  these  rivers  is  navigable,  so  that  it  is  im- 
possible to  conceive  a  country  placed  under  more 
favourable  circumstances  than  Hungary. 

The  causes  which  have  hitherto  prevented  a 
country  so  rich  in  productions,  and  possessing  these 
advantages,  from  reaping  the  rich  fruits  of  foreign 
commerce,  must  next  be  considered. 

One  of  the  most  important  of  these  we  believe 
to  be,  the  restrictive  laws  arbitrarily  imposed  on 
Hungary  by  Austria.  Hungary  has  the  right  to 
tax  herself,  but  from  time  immemorial  the  king 
has  enjoyed  the  privilege  of  imposing  a  duty  called, 
from  its  amount,  Vigesima  Regalis  (the  King's 
twentieth),  or  five  per  cent,  on  articles  imported 
into,  and  exported  from  Hungary.  Soon  after  the 
accession  of  the  house  of  Hapsburg,  however,  at- 
tempts were  made  to  change  this  into  a  system 
of  indirect  taxation ;  attempts  which,  despite  the 
complaints  of  the  nation,  have  been  persevered  in 
ever  since.  But  the  most  tremendous  blow  to  com- 
merce was  given  by  Joseph,  who  entertained  the 
idea  of  forcing  the  country  to  manufacture  for  it- 
self,— by  the  imposition  of  a  duty  of  sixty  per  cent, 
on  all  foreign  articles.  Even  then  none  but  a  noble 
was  allowed  to  import,  and  he  only  on  the  under- 
standing that  the  articles  imported  were  for  his 
own  use.  Of  course,  this  regulation  was  evaded 
either  by  the  merchant's  purchasing  nobility,  or 
by  some  noble  lending  his  name  to  a  merchant 
for  the  same  purpose. 


Although  the  same  amount  of  duty  was  not 
levied  on  all  articles  exported,  yet  as  exchange  is 
absolutely  necessary  for  the  prosperity  of  com- 
merce, its  effects  were  equally  disadvantageous  as 
regards  exports.  On  some  articles,  however,  the 
export  duty  was  much  higher  than  sixty  per  cent. ; 
and  the  Hungarians  soon  perceived  that  if,  not- 
withstanding these  obstacles,  a  market  was,  from 
some  peculiar  profit  to  be  derived  from  it,  found 
for  their  produce,  the  Government  was  sure  to 
step  in,  and  to  impose  so  heavy  a  burthen  as  to 
destroy  it  in  a  very  short  time.  The  constant 
changes,  too,  which  were  made  in  the  tariff,  ren- 
dered trade  so  uncertain,  that  no  one  could  be 
induced  to  cultivate,  or  speculate,  where  an  arbi- 
trary act  of  an  irresponsible  minister  might  at  once 
change  the  whole  circumstances  on  which  his 
calculations  must  be  founded.  The  end  of  all  this 
has  been  two  national  bankruptcies,  the  destruction 
of  all  commerce  from  without,  and  of  all  energy 
and  enterprise  within,  an  empty  exchequer,  and  a 
people  almost  in  a  state  of  barbarism. 

At  last  Austria  appears  to  Lave  opened  her 
eyes  to  some  of  her  errors.  Thanks  to  Mr.  Mac- 
gregor's  plain  straightforward  exposition  of  the 
frauds  and  losses  to  which  her  present  system 
exposes  her,  she  has  at  last  consented  to  revise 
her  tariff,  and  to  change  it  where  possible.  Un- 
happily, however,  that  is  no  such  easy  task.  She 
is  surrounded  by  swarms  of  leeches  in  the  shape 


of  contractors,  collectors,  and  rogues  of  every  kind 
and  class,  who  have  long  lived  on  the  corruptions 
of  the  system,  and  who  now  cling  to  it  so  firmly, 
that  it  is  a  life-struggle  to  shake  them  from  their 
hold.  Manufactures,  too,  have  been  encouraged 
under  this  false  system,  and  now  claim  protec- 
tion and  support  from  those  who  have  hitherto 
fostered  them.*  Still  a  change  has  been  begun. 
Every  man  can  now  import  and  export  for  the 
purposes  of  trade,  be  he  of  what  class  he  may. 
Absolute  prohibition  can  scarcely  any  longer  be 
said  to  exist,  and  the  duties  on  upwards  of  a 
hundred  articles  of  commerce  have  been  materially 

Still  all  this  has  reference  to  Austria  in  general, 
not  to  Hungary  in  particular,  and  there  are  many 
circumstances  peculiar  to  the  latter  country  which 
demand  separate  legislation.  The  export  duties 
on  Hungarian  produce,  even  into  Austria,  remain 
as  before.  But  even  these  obstructions,  serious 
as  they  are,  and  deeply  as  it  behoves  Hungary  to 
struggle  for  their  removal,  are  still  light  compared 
with  others,  dependent  on  the  Hungarians  them- 
selves. I  allude  to  the  peculiar  state  of  the  Hun- 
garian laws  affecting  credit.  Without  entering 

*  I  have  heard,  however,  that  some  of  the  manufacturers  of 
Vienna  were  exceedingly  ready  to  aid  Mr.  Macgregor  in  opening 
trade,  declaring  that  they  could  compete  better  with  the  fair 
trader  on  a  moderate  duty,  than  with  the  smuggler  on  none 
at  all. 


into  these,  many  of  which  have  been  alluded  to 
before  at  some  length,  I  shall  only  here  enumerate 
one  or  two  of  the  more  important. 

The  law  by  which  the  absolute  alienation  of 
property  is  rendered  impracticable,  while  at  the 
same  time  it  is  allowed  to  load  it  with  debt,  is 
one  of  the  most  injurious.  In  consequence  of  this 
law  it  becomes  impossible  to  give  good  security, 
and  the  price  of  money  is  therefore  exorbitant. 
The  enforcement  of  a  contract  against  a  noble,  too, 
is  rendered  so  difficult  an